Mumbai: India's lone snooker professional Aditya Mehta rued missed chances against world no. 8 Ricky Walden of England that led to his 2-4 second-round defeat and early elimination from the pound sterling 300,000 Indian Open in progress here.
"He played well in the first few frames. He started better than me, got great long balls. He potted the long balls and I missed them. Sometimes you need a little bit of good fortune when you go wrong. He punished me everytime," said the 29-year-old after recovering from a 0-3 deficit and then losing the chance to enter the last 16.
Mumbai-born Mehta, ranked 50th in the world, was beaten 70(63)-0, 78-27, 77-13, 18-73, 0-76, 81-1, by the 32-year-old Englishman and his exit ended the home country's challenge in the tournament's second edition.
Mehta had lost to Ding Junhui in the final of the inaugural edition of the tournament held in Delhi in October, 2013, but this time around failed to recreate that magic.
"Nothing much was wrong with my game. I am world no. 50 he's world no. 8, you could see that at the end of the game," conceded Mehta whose next tournament is the World Championship in Sheffield, England, next month.
"I had to think about what I could have done differently.
Obviously he's one of the top players in the world I could not afford to let him off to a good start."
Mehta, the lone Indian pro card holder, had raised visions of another fairytale progress in the tournament when he scored his maiden win, after four straight losses against higher-ranked Mark King of England 4-3 (82-7, 60-17, 78-9, 25-104, 56-57, 45-76, 76-4) to enter the second round.
Mehta took the positives from the lost opportunity.
"It is just a shame that initially I did not compete better. But I am happy that at least I made a game of it and didn't crumble. It shows that I can compete on a tactical level with some of the best players in the world. There are a lot of positives but for negatives, I need to look back."
"After getting back to 3-2 it is game on. He was desperate to get out of the way. He is relieved that he got it. He did it in style. I had my chances," he explained.
Looking ahead, Mehta said, "For me it is back to Sheffield now. I have not qualified for any of the other tournaments so I am looking forward to World Championships after a bit of rest.
"World Championships are best of 19 so it will be a good test of everything I have been working on. I still dream about getting to Crucible, the dream is on so who knows. If I play as well as I am playing then I think I can get there sooner rather than later."