Rory McLeod was left to rue missed opportunities and a faltering performance after suffering a first-round exit at the hands of Tom Ford at the English Open.
The world No.51 suffered a disappointing afternoon on the baize at EventCity in Manchester, going down 4-2 to compatriot Ford despite opening the game with a century break.
But a collapse from 2-1 up saw McLeod fail to reach the last 64, a result which left the 45-year-old Wellingborough native regretting a lack of form at the contest’s pivotal moments.
“There’s no way I can feel great after that,” he said. “Not going 3-2 up cost me, if I’d nicked that fifth frame then it becomes a completely different game, but as it was it Tom took it by a couple of points and he didn’t give me any chance at all in the last frame.
“All of a sudden the match is over and you try and work out what’s happened, it started off well but after that it fell away.
“I had my chances and I didn’t take them, so I’m very disappointed, but I only have myself to blame about that.
“Tom played okay, but it’s so important to use any little opportunity you can get otherwise you get punished.”
While he felt there was little to take from the performance, McLeod believes the more best-of-seven matches he plays, the more he will benefit.
But for now that proved little consolation, with the veteran conceding there is still plenty of work to do if he is to get back to his best.
“The more tournaments we play, the better it is for us. This is something new and exciting which will hopefully do well,” he added.
“I just wish I could have won my match – then I’d been able to see a lot more of it but it didn’t happen.
“I think I need to up my focus now, I’ll go home, work on a few things and see where that takes me.
“It’s hard doing best-of-sevens, a lot of the professionals want to play games of nine frames, at least, but you have to come with whatever’s thrown at you.
"We’ve now got one-frame shootouts which are ranking events so you have to be ready for anything and sharp from the off.”
Watch the English Open LIVE on Eurosport 1 and Quest, featuring daily studio analysis from Ronnie O’Sullivan, Jimmy White and Neal Foulds.