Three-time champion Neil Robertson crashed out of the UK Championships in the first round for the second year in a row after losing 6-2 to training partner Joe Perry.
Perry opened up a 4-0 lead at the York Barbican with breaks of 102, 85 and 68 as Robertson failed to score more than 23 points in the first four frames.
The world number two, unsurprisingly, spent time at the training table during the interim break and it paid off when he fired an 88 in the fifth frame, but Perry’s 81 took him to the brink of victory. .
Australian Robertson, who won the UK title in 2013, 2015 and 2020, took the seventh frame to keep the tournament alive, but Perry deservedly sealed his place in the round of 16 with a 64.
“I feel great,” Perry told Eurosport. “I played like this in qualifying last week, but you never know if it’s going to make it in the arena.
“After a bit of a shaky start, I found my game and enjoyed playing well.
“I could see he wasn’t 100 percent today — he looked like he was stinking — but you can’t let your guard down because he’s so good, he can shoot some frames no matter how he feels.
“It was important for me to take control and take advantage of his mistakes and I felt I did that well. Even when he came back towards the end, I was calm and positive.
Belgium’s Luca Brezel, who lost to Zhao Jindong in last year’s final, also advanced to the 2nd round with a 6-4 win over Liu Hadian.
A 124-point break gave Brazel a 2-0 lead, but he managed just one point in the next three frames, while Liu compiled breaks of 58, 97 and 79.
Brezel’s streak went to three frames in a row, and another Liu gap of 79 kept the fight alive as Brezel took the 10th frame to set up a 16-round tie with either John Higgins or Tom Ford.
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