JOE PERRY will take on world No2 Mark Selby in the quarter-finals of the BetVictor Welsh Open after coming through a thriller against Stuart Bingham on Thursday.
Selby was the first man into the last eight at the Newport Centre with a far more straightforward 4-1 win over Ali Carter, like the Leicester player a former winner of the tournament.
But world No15 Perry, 39, was on the brink of seeing victory slip through his fingers as Champion of Champions finalist Bingham hit back in the decider.
Trailing by 56 points with 59 left on the table Bingham got a snooker on the colours but then missed the final blue, allowing a relieved Perry to pot blue and pink for a 4-3 success.
And afterwards Perry, who did win the Yixing Open last summer, admitted that he is still hugely motivated by the hope of adding a first full ranking title to his CV.
Perry said: “I played the perfect decider – until I missed match ball. That was caused by finishing badly on the pink and ending up with a miss-able red.
“There were anxious moments then, we have seen it so many times people clearing up to pinch matches by a couple of points and that would have really hurt.
“I would have really felt I had thrown it away, because great player though Stuart is, on the day I was superior in every department and I don’t know how it got to 4-3.
“I was trusting for a bit of luck at the end and fearing the worst, and I had a result when he missed the blue.
“Obviously a match against Mark is something to look forward to, he won rapidly today and is making big breaks. It will be tough.
“I feel I have titles in me, it’s not as if I have won too many and there is definitely room in the cabinet for a couple of trophies.
“But I am beating the guys who are winning titles, it is just a case of stringing some results together in one week. Then I can do it, but that is not easy.
“It is different for guys like maybe Mark Williams and Mark Selby, getting into quarters and semis is nothing for them. They have done it so often and won titles, and it isn’t good enough for them.
“But I still get a buzz out of it because I am on the verge of doing something I have not done before. It is still motivating for me.”
Selby, the first man into the last eight, said: “Ali is a top player so I am happy to be through. I keep playing first, and then everyone else is following me through which is great as long as you are winning.
“You get the rest of the day off to relax, and I still have a chance to win it. The quarters are best of nine frames with an interval now, but I have enjoyed the best of seven matches.
“I want more ranking titles but it is tough, and you don’t have to be playing badly not to be lifting trophies. Look at how it turned for Ding this season, sometimes a bit of luck here or a good draw can help, then you need to take advantage.”