JOE PERRY pulled off a brilliant comeback victory to land his first major ranking title in a playing career spanning more than 20 years – after he won the Players Championship.
The world number 13 came from 3-0 down to beat former world champion Mark Williams to win a dramatic final in Thailand, earning him the biggest cheque of his 24-year playing career worth £100,000.
Victory was sweet for Perry as it helped made amends from his agonising final frame defeat to close friend Neil Robertson in this season’s Wuxi Classic final – held in July.
“I’ve been playing snooker since I was 12, and all I’ve ever wanted to do is win a major tournament.” – Perry after winning 2015 Players Championship
But Perry looked set for more ranking final misery after Williams, chasing his 19th ranking title, made breaks of 64, 57 and 103 to take a 3-0 lead and just a single frame away from the title.
Cambridgeshire’s Perry kept his hopes alive winning the next two frames before he then forced a deciding frame shootout with a vital break of 56.
In the decider Perry earned the advantage after a brilliant long red set up a break of 54 before adding another 24 points to seal the result.
“It has been a lifelong ambition for me,” said Perry. “I’ve been playing snooker since I was 12, and all I’ve ever wanted to do is win a major tournament. When I lost 10-9 in the final in Wuxi I thought that might have been my chance. So I’m delighted to do it at last.
“I’ve been really composed all week. I have been very calm at the table, haven’t got nervous and just felt very confident. I never expected anything other than to prepare well and try my best.
“The turning point today was the fourth frame because I didn’t feel comfortable until then. It was a long frame and I managed to pinch it, and that helped me settle down. After that I was able to play my game.
“I’m really good friends with Mark and to play one of my favourite players in the final – and to win – is just the icing on the cake.”
Perry joins the likes of Shaun Murphy, Stephen Lee, Ding Junhui and Barry Hawkins to have won the Players Championship event since its launch in 2011.