July 31 2014 Latest news:
Monday, June 30, 2014
Joe Perry came within one frame of winning his first major ranking tournament ... but he was denied by one of his best friends on tour.
The Chatteris potter led 9-8 in the final of the Wuxi Classic, but Aussie Neil Robertson produced breaks of 87 and 78 to clinch the final two frames and the title.
Robertson was in tears afterwards having denied Perry what would have been his greatest triumph.
Robertson said: “At the end I was really emotional. Maybe people thought it was because I’d won, but in fact it was for Joe as he was there at the start of my career.
“Joe is one of my best friends on tour and if it wasn’t for him I wouldn’t be here today. He has taught me so much about the game and been such a great influence on my career over the past ten years.
“He should be winning tournaments and hopefully this experience will help him push on and win a big one and get into the world’s top ten where he belongs.”
Perry played outstanding snooker all week - he beat Chen Zifan (5-0), Robert Milkins (5-0), Liang Wenbo (5-2), Robin Hull (5-2) and Martin Gould (6-4) en route to the final.
Perry made a flying start to the final - winning the first three frames.
Robertson fought back but Perry finished the first session 5-4 up.
In the evening session, Robertson won four of the first five frames to go 8-6 up but Perry hit back with three in a row to lead 9-8 before Robertson’s fantastic finish.
Perry said: “I had a chance early in the deciding frame but missed a difficult blue. I made my mind up that if I got a chance I was going to go for it. Neil showed his class.
“I made a good break to go 9-8 up but then he produced two fantastic breaks under pressure. He showed why he’s probably the best player in the world and one of the hardest to beat.
“In a few days time I’ll be pleased with what I’ve done this week but at the moment I’m absolutely gutted.
“Neither of us played that well today, the best stuff was at the end of the match. I fought hard all day long and just came up short. I can’t think about the positives at the moment, I’m too distraught.”