Joe Perry described his shock Welsh Open victory as “unbelievable” after completing a 9-5 defeat of Judd Trump in the final on Sunday.
The 47 year-old capped a stellar week in which he knocked out a host of marquee names with a confident display in the title decider.
Trump was the obvious favourite going into the contest, but the Champion of Champions failed to produce his trademark scoring power.
Instead, it was Perry who turned on the afterburners during the second session, compiling a century and four additional contributions above 50 to pull away near the end.
Known as the Gentleman, a second career ranking event success comes at an unexpected time when his game had been suffering.
In fact, Perry had recently dropped way down the rankings but will rebound back 19 places to number 23 after his exploits in Newport.
In addition to his triumph over Trump, Perry also beat David Gilbert, Cao Yupeng, Mark Allen, Kyren Wilson, Ricky Walden, and Jack Lisowski in the competition.
When Perry won his previous title at the Players Tour Championship Grand Finals in 2015, he wasn’t even presented with a trophy.
So to have his parents with him at the Celtic Manor Resort as he raised the Ray Reardon Trophy was an extra special feeling.
“It sounds unbelievable, absolutely unbelievable,” Joe Perry told the World Snooker Tour upon being reminded of his stunning Welsh Open success.
“I’ve said many times this week, I’ve honestly thought my days of winning tournaments were long behind me.”
“One win in 30 years doesn’t fill you with confidence to go on and win any more at my age and at my stage of my career.
“Whatever happens from here on in, I’ve got that to remember. I won a tournament out in Thailand, and I think there was a bit more prize money.
“But that’s never really been an ultimate goal for me, I’ve never been motivated by money. This is by far and away the biggest moment in my career.
“The Masters final was huge, but I lost, and a couple of other finals were huge, but I lost – I’ve won this time, and that is so far up there at the top of my career it’s unbelievable.
“Today was a bit strange, because I felt really good. I wasn’t sure how I was going to feel, if it was going to be a rabbit in the headlights, playing Judd Trump, and my first final for a long time.
“There was a massive crowd and I’ve sort been out of that for a little while, but I felt so calm and relaxed.
“I was a little bit annoyed with myself, because I was making silly errors for no reason other than just lack of concentration.
“I knew I was playing well, I just couldn’t finish off the games. In the end I was happy to get out (of the first session) at 4-4 with the balls that I’d missed.
“I just knew that if I could tighten up a little bit tonight…and I felt wonderful. I felt so confident, and luckily I put it all together – I felt like I played really strong.
“We were seconds from losing the most important person in our life (when Perry’s father fell ill).”
“That was leading up to the World Championship qualifiers last year. It absolutely knocked our family for six.
“It’s taken a long time to get back to some sort of normality – it’ll never be the same again, but we’re sort of getting back there.
“I was so pleased when he phoned me this morning – I knew he was coming – but when he told me that my mum was in the car as well, I couldn’t believe it.
“The last time she saw me play I lost 9-8 to David Gray in the (2004) UK semi-final, and she swore she would never watch another game of snooker.
“So when he said she was in the car today, it gave me a bit of a lift.”
Featured photo credit: WST