Adam Duffy may have been eliminated in the Dafabet English Open first round yesterday but the Sheffield snooker star insists his confidence remains undiminished.
Duffy ran into an inspired Jimmy Robertson at the Metrodome Leisure Complex in Barnsley, as his Sussex opponent reeled off breaks of 60, 107 and 101 to ease to a 4-2 victory.
The Yorkshireman did at least rally from 3-0 behind to close the gap to a single frame but Robertson stepped up another gear to seal victory, leaving the 28-year-old to admit there was little he could have done to best his in-form foe.
“For the first three frames, the only time I was round the black was when I was picking the balls out of the pocket at the end of the frame!” joked Duffy.
“To be fair, he’s played so well there that at 3-0 I thought, ‘I’m off here’. But I managed to dig in and if I’d have won that frame at 3-2 I would have fancied my chances in the decider.
“When someone plays better than you, they’re getting in first and making breaks then you have to say ‘well played’.
“If it’s taking someone playing like that to beat me, then I’m confident for the rest of the season. I’m not playing poorly at all.”
Duffy will now head to China, where he faces world No 14 Liang Wenbo in the International Championship and world No 2 Ding Junhui, who is also based in Sheffield, in the Shanghai Masters.
The world No 90 will be a heavy underdog for both those matches but he is quietly optimistic about causing an upset or two.
“If I carry on working hard, then I’ll get the results and maybe that little run of the balls could make the difference,” added Duffy.
“I’ve got the International Championship against Liang Wenbo next and then Ding in Shanghai. They’re big matches but I’m confident for both.”
*Watch the English Open LIVE on Eurosport 1 and Quest, featuring daily studio analysis from Ronnie O’Sullivan, Jimmy White and Neal Foulds.