JAMIE Burnett last night limped out of the Dafabet World Snooker Championship in the first round following a defeat by Joe Perry and admitted he had fallen out of love with the game a long time ago.
The Hamilton-born player, who has not won in Sheffield in 22 years as a professional, appeared to be on course for an upset after holding a 6-3 lead from Sunday's session. However, Perry, the world No.15, fought back to win seven of the last eight frames for a 10-6 victory, with defending champion Ronnie O'Sullivan next up on Thursday.
"I don't really bother too much about snooker, I've lost a lot of enjoyment for the game," said Burnett. "I practise a couple of hours a day, perhaps three or four days before the tournament; it's just not the same for me.
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"I've been in the game for a long time and I've been a bit fed up with it for a few years now. If I dropped off the tour it wouldn't make any difference to me to be honest."
However, the world No.45 has no plans to give up his job just yet. "I'm not looking too far ahead; I will play for as long as I can and as long as my eyes hold up," added the 38-year-old.
"I'm not calling it a day. I can't do anything else. It's more like a job but a job I don't enjoy. I don't enjoy the travelling. It's a bit of a chore now and practising is hard."
His compatriot, Alan McManus heads into today's session with a 6-3 lead over his friend John Higgins in their all-Scottish first-round tie. McManus made a sensational start to hold a five-frame advantage but Higgins fought back strongly and reduced the deficit to three in the best-of-19 match.
Higgins, now No.9 in the rankings, started brightly enough and potted a tricky pink to edge the first frame 62-50 but, after two brief visits to the table for both players, McManus compiled a smooth 87 break to level the score.
In the third frame Higgins was unable to establish his rhythm and eventually fouled on the black as McManus reached 47. McManus, the world No.35 who has twice reached the semi-finals at the Crucible, led 4-1 at the mid-session interval.
The Glaswegian would go on to win the next three frames, before Higgins finished in fine style to reduce the arrears to three. The former world champion has the momentum going into today's session, with Ken Doherty awaiting the winner.