Ding curses focus as he falls to Perry

Ding Junhui after his first-round Masters defeat to Joe Perry
Ding Junhui after his first-round Masters defeat to Joe Perry

Ding Junhui bemoaned a lack of concentration as he crashed out of the opening round of the Masters at the hands of Joe Perry.

The Chinese star failed to find any rhythm in the 6-3 defeat as he fell at the first hurdle at Alexandra Palace.

The result looked unlikely after Ding made a strong start to proceedings and his break of 135 was the standout moment of the early frames.

However Ding, who won the UK Championship last year, never kicked on and was left to rue a lack of application which allowed Perry to take control.

He said: “The match was 50/50 but I didn’t take my chances. There were three or four frames where I made about 40 and then lost the position.

“I had to play hard shots and that gave him the chance. My safety wasn’t good enough and I couldn’t put any pressure on him. I lost my concentration too many times.”

Ding was in many ways his own worst enemy but you’d be hard pressed to suggest Perry wasn’t good value for his win.

The 45-year-old hit breaks of 71, 93 and 83 as he pulled away after the interval and made the most of every opportunity presented to him by the misfiring Ding.

Ding was quick to highlight Perry’s ability to capitalise on any chance which came his way, but again returned to his own shortcomings when looking back at the loss.

“I felt I didn’t score and make the most of certain situations. Sometimes I lost a bit of concentration and I was careless with my shots. That can happen but it doesn’t feel great,” he said.

“He did very well today and every time I missed, he took the chance and won the frame.”

Ding will look to shake off the loss as soon as possible and a busy calendar means the opportunity to take on a new challenge will not be far away.

The 32-year-old remains a determined figure and says he will work on the failings which ended his Masters so early before returning to action.

He said: “The European Masters and the German Masters are next for me and they are close. I will get back to practice as soon as possible, remain focused and look forward to the next tournament.

“I will watch today back to see what was good and what was bad, go back to practice and hopefully come back better.”

Ding was a winner at the Masters in 2011, but his latest failure means he has now lost nine of his last three matches at the event.

Watch the London Masters LIVE on Eurosport and Eurosport Player with analysis from Ronnie O'Sullivan, Jimmy White and Neal Foulds.

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