Outsider Joe Perry has taken the Welsh Open title with a resounding victory over Judd Trump. Ranked at number 42 in the world, Perry was the underdog against Trump, the world number three. But a spirited and determined approach and a few uncharacteristic errors from Trump saw Perry emerge victorious.
The Welsh Open is only the second-ranking title that Perry has claimed, after turning professional 30 years ago in 1992. The 47-year-old will now climb to number 23 in the world after his first ranking win on British soil.
The first session of the match was a nervy one from both players, with the cue ball being the first one to drop into the pocket. The action swung back and forth for the frame, which ended up being won on the black ball, pocketed by Perry.
The second frame was over much more quickly, taking just nine minutes with Trump levelling the match. The third frame went back to Perry after Trump made a mistake with a safety shot on the blue.
With the match at 2-1 in favour of Perry, the Cambridgeshire player failed to pocket a red when using the rest, leaving the table open for Judd to take advantage of. With the match all square at 2-2, the fifth frame was hotly contested, but Perry missing the blue allowed Trump to clean up and take the lead at 3-2 for the first time.
The next three frames alternated back and forth between Perry and Trump before the session finished level-pegging at 4-4.
With the players back out for the evening session, Perry started strongly with a break of 108, the first century so far in the final. But despite this determined beginning, it was back to the status quo again in the next frame as Trump took it, leaving the match at 5-5.
It was looking like it was going to be a long and closely fought session, but Trump made some uncharacteristic mistakes, allowing Perry to surge ahead. Perry’s performance wasn’t without his own errors, but each time Trump didn’t manage to take advantage, with Perry able to force his way back into the game.
Trump didn’t win any more frames in the evening session, and the match finished at 9-5 to Perry.
The ex-world number one, Trump, admitted that it hadn’t been his best day at the table, but insisted that Perry deserved the win after being the better player from the start.
Describing Perry as “one of the nicest guys on tour”, Trump paid tribute to the pressure his opponent was able to exert, and acknowledged that he “deserved to win”.
Perry was delighted to pick up the win, and although he was pleased with his own performance, he was quick to point out that Trump had let him off lightly.
Trump has been in 34 ranking finals, but hasn't won for an entire year, with his last victory at the 2021 Gibraltar Open.