Parrott happy in defeat

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The Independent Online

A slimmed-down John Parrott was in upbeat mood despite his defeat in the first match of his 18th professional season in the second round of the £440,000 British Open here yesterday.

A slimmed-down John Parrott was in upbeat mood despite his defeat in the first match of his 18th professional season in the second round of the £440,000 British Open here yesterday.

The 35-year-old former world champion, who has shed more than two stones over the summer, was beaten 5-2 by Joe Perry, but still found reasons to be cheerful after rediscovering his enjoyment for the game.

"I felt very enthusiastic out there," Parrott said. "Although I'm disappointed to lose I feel better about this season than I did for the last two or three.

"I didn't even want to get my cue out of the case last year. If you'd have offered me a million quid I really wouldn't have been interested.

"Now I'm in the club every day practising. But the one thing you need is a couple of matches under your belt.

"But I've lost weight, had my waistcoat and trousers altered, and feel 100 per cent better. The best change you can make is to yourself and that's what I've done - but Joe played exceptionally well and that's all there is to it."

Parrott led 2-0 before Perry made a 141 clearance, the highest televised break so far this season, to draw level at 2-2, and then took victory with runs of 70, 41 and 33.

"Joe's in very good nick," Parrott added. "He's obviously confident and he's playing well. He simply didn't give me any chances."

Another seed, the world No 16, Joe Swail, was also sent packing by one of the lower-ranked players.

The Northern Irishman, a surprise semi-finalist in the Embassy World Championship last April, was beaten 5-2 by Robert Milkins, the world No 75, from Gloucester.

Milkins completed breaks of 59, 66 and 50 to reach the last 16 for only the second time of his career in any competition.

Late on Monday night, Steve Davis scraped home 5-4 against Iceland's No 1 Kristjan Helgason after seeing his 3-0 and 4-2 leads cancelled out.

And the 43-year-old elder statesman, twice a winner of the British Open Crown, was relieved to have got through after Helgason missed an easy pink attempting to clear up the deciding frame. "Fortunately, he blew it at the end after I had blown loads of chances myself - maybe he caught something off me," said Davis, who now faces the world No 9 Fergal O'Brien in the next round.

Jimmy White also advanced with a 5-3 victory over Peter Lines, after stringing together a break of 54 in the eighth frame to clinch the win.

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