Joe Perry wins first title in UK with victory over Judd Trump in Welsh Open
Joe Perry produced a determined display to beat Judd Trump 9-5 to win the Welsh Open at Celtic Manor and claim his first ranking title in the UK.
Perry, 47, had been a professional since 1991, but his only other ranking victory came at the 2015 Players Championship in Thailand.
World number three Trump had matched Perry during the afternoon session, which finished locked at 4-4.
𝗝𝗼𝗲 𝗣𝗲𝗿𝗿𝘆 is the Welsh Open champion 👑🏆
What a performance from @joegentlemanjoe to beat Judd Trump 9-5.#WelshOpen | @WeAreWST pic.twitter.com/qUcjCHnXRi
— Eurosport (@eurosport) March 6, 2022
When the players returned to the table for the evening conclusion, Perry produced a clearance of 108 and made another couple of half-century breaks to move 7-5 ahead at the interval.
Perry maintained his momentum to come from behind after capitalising on an error from Trump to claim the 13th frame 62-44 and move within one of victory.
A break of 70 looked to have pushed Perry on the brink, only for Trump to clear 30 before setting up a snooker.
Perry, though, played his way out and eventually knocked in a long green followed by brown and blue to get over the line and secure the Ray Reardon Trophy.
Your 2022 @BetVictor Welsh Open champion, @joegentlemanjoe 🏆 #HomeNations #BVEuroSeries pic.twitter.com/29eHB6us15
— World Snooker Tour (@WeAreWST) March 6, 2022
“This is the absolute highlight of my career by a country mile,” Perry said on BBC Two Wales.
“I actually thought it was coming to an end, and now I have the best moment of my snooker career. To do it against a great champion like Judd is the icing on the cake.”
Perry’s parents were watching on from the audience in Newport.
“They have supported me since I was 10 years old and if it wasn’t for them I wouldn’t have been a snooker player,” he said.
“I have won a tournament before, but no-one was there, and I know they are proud of me, but this is amazing.”
Trump paid tribute to Perry, who becomes the second oldest ranking winner in history behind Reardon and is set to move up into the world’s top 25.
He said: “It was a tough game. Joe played the better of us from start to finish, so fair play to him.
“I want to congratulate him because it is his first win in the UK and he is one of the nicest guys on the tour, so everybody is very happy for him.”
Former world champion Trump, whose wait for a first Welsh Open title goes on, added: “I was just digging in all day trying to stay with him, and there were a couple of chances where I missed easy balls in the match.
“I gave it my all, but it was just not meant to be. Joe put me under pressure from the start and potted some cracking long balls, scored the heavier and was potting crucial balls at crucial times.”