Joe Perry emerged from the wilderness to beat Judd Trump 9-5 in the final of the Welsh Open for his first title since 2015.
Perry, 47, fell out of love with the game during the coronavirus lockdown, and his form dropped off a cliff. His performances prior to arriving in Newport were poor, but he found something in Wales.
He beat David Gilbert, Cao Yupeng, Mark Allen, Kyren Wilson, Ricky Walden and Jack Lisowski to reach the final.
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Trump was the strong favourite to end his year-long drought for a ranking title, but it was Perry who secured the second of his career - and first since the Players Championship in Thailand in 2015 - to become the second-oldest to win a ranking title, with only the man whose name is on the Welsh Open trophy, Ray Reardon, older than him.
It was a cagey start to the evening session, but Perry earned a chance after an excellent safety drew an error from Trump and he stepped in with his seventh ton of the week and 13th of the season.
Perry worked an advantage in the 10tth and looked favourite with reds welded to cushions. There was one loose red, which Trump went for into the bottom right - only to see it wriggle in the jaws, fly up the table and drop in the yellow pocket.
He took advantage of the slice of luck to pick off a couple of reds, lay a snooker and go on to win the frame and level the contest.

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After taking the 10th, Trump got in first in the 11th but missed a routine black - which was a story of his week. Perry, who could have been forgiven for wilting in the face of the outrageous fluke in the previous frame, knocked in a couple of half-century breaks to edge back in front.
For the first time in the contest, there was breathing space between the players as Perry compiled an impressive break of 68 to move 7-5 ahead at the final interval.
Perry was trailing in the 13th, but a poor safety from Trump left the door ajar. His long potting had been exemplary all day and he found the middle of the green pocket to set up a clearance.
With his family in the crowd, they were not there in Thailand in 2015, there was pressure on Perry. But you would not know it as he calmly picked off a brilliant break of 70.
It did not clinch the title and he had of get the better of a tense safety battle, which he did - and in the process leave Trump outside the door for the Tour Championship contenders.

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Afternoon session

Judd Trump and Joe Perry are locked together at 4-4 after the first session of the Welsh Open final.
It was a cagey session, with the highest break being 73. The nature of the contest played more to Perry’s strengths than Trump’s, and the Gentleman was able to keep himself in the hunt for the evening when nerves will play a part.
Trump has a commanding record against Perry, with nine wins from their previous 12 meetings, but he is striving for his best form this term and was unable to break free of his opponent on Sunday afternoon.
Both players had chances in the opener and it boiled down to a battle on the black. A cagey period of safety was broken when Perry knocked in a glorious, long-range double to edge in front.
Trump’s 60 in the opening frame suggested his arm was loose and he took the second on the back of a run of 45.
Perry said following his win over Jack Lisowski in the semi-finals that he was struggling with a headache, but he looked much fresher on Sunday and a 59 was enough to take the third.

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Perry prides himself on limiting the errors, but he made a costly mistake with the rest in the fourth and it allowed Trump to draw level at the mid-session interval courtesy of a break of 69.
As Philip Studd said on Eurosport commentary, Perry went from “the sublime to the ridiculous” in the fifth frame. He knocked in a stunning long red, but one shot later missed a straight blue.
Trump demonstrated excellent potting and impressive patience to wait for a telling chance, and the tactic paid off as he moved ahead for the first time in the match.
There were both concerning and pleasing signs for Perry in the sixth, as he mixed brilliant potting with elementary mistakes. Tellingly, his gritty match play came to the fore as he pinched the colours to draw level.
The seventh saw Perry follow a similar pattern to the sixth. But on this occasion, he was made to pay a price for missing a simple black as Trump stepped in with a 73.
The eighth typified the session, as it was scrappy and both had chances. Perry’s missed red looked set to be costly, but Trump inexplicably failed to knock in a straight pink from close range and Perry cleared up to draw level in the race to nine.

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Watch the Welsh Open final and other top snooker live on Eurosport and discovery+.
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