Sport country: England
Highest ranking: є 9
Highest break: 145
Career winnings: £1,612,166
Nickname: The Fen Potter, The Gentleman
Tournament wins: 5
Joe Perry (born 13 August 1974) is an English professional snooker player. Often referred to as the "Fen Potter" and also nicknamed "the Gentleman", he was born in Wisbech, Cambridgeshire. He climbed the rankings steadily after turning professional in 1991, and reached the top sixteen for the first time in 2002.
His first ranking final came at the 2001 European Open and he had to wait another 13 years for a second which came at the 2014 Wuxi Classic. Perry then won his first major ranking title at the 2015 Players Championship Grand Final, at the age of 40 and in his 23rd season as a professional. He also won the minor-ranking 2013 Yixing Open and 2015 Xuzhou Open, and has also reached the semi-finals of the World Snooker Championship in 2008, and back-to-back UK Championship semi-finals in 2004 and 2005.
Perry's breakthrough came when he reached the final of the European Open in 2001. He first reached the quarter-finals of the World Championship in 2004, beating then defending champion Mark Williams 13Ц11 along the way, also making the tournament's highest break of 145 (which remains Perry's best in competition), before losing to Matthew Stevens. He repeated this run in 2008 when he defeated Graeme Dott and Stuart Bingham, and bettered it by going on to beat Stephen Maguire 13Ц12 and earn his place in the semi-finals, which he narrowly lost to Ali Carter. Previously, he had also reached the last 16 on his Crucible debut in 1999, beating Steve Davis on the final black in the last 32.
He reached the semi-finals of the UK Championship in both 2004 and 2005. The 2004 defeat was especially notable as Perry led 8Ц7 and had potted a colour to leave his opponent, David Gray, requiring a snooker Ц however, Perry's pot had also left him snookered on the final red, which he failed to hit, allowing Gray to clear the table and ultimately win the deciding frame with a total clearance of 139. This run left Perry provisionally fifth in the world, but he failed to win a match in the remaining five tournaments and dropped to 14th at the end of the season as a result. In 2005, he lost to eventual champion Ding Junhui.
In the 2007/08 season, he reached two quarter-finals: in the Grand Prix (losing 5Ц3 to Gerard Greene) and the Welsh Open (with victories over John Parrott 5Ц2, Peter Ebdon 5Ц1 and Stuart Bingham 5Ц2 before Shaun Murphy beat him 5Ц0), as well as the last 16 of the UK Championship, where he beat Neil Robertson 9Ц6 after being 5Ц3 down, before losing 9Ц2 to Marco Fu. He followed that up by reaching the semi-finals of the world championship, where he was knocked out by Ali Carter 17Ц15. These results ensured him a return to the prestigious top 16 of the rankings (at No. 12, his highest ranking ever), meaning automatic qualification for major tournaments. He also finished the 2007/2008 season on another high, by winning the Championship League, to qualify for the Betfred Premier League for 2008. He has said he feels that he is learning to cope with the high pressure of major tournaments, having had more experience over the last season.
Perry opened 2008-09 with three last-sixteen runs, leaving him inside the top eight of the provisional rankings. However he went one better in the UK Championship beating Ronnie O'Sullivan 9Ц5 having trailed by 5Ц3, in one of the best victories of his career. However, he lost 9Ц7 to Marco Fu in the quarter-finals. In the new year he lost very narrowly (6Ц5) to O'Sullivan in the Masters, the rest of the season was unspectacular as he failed to win a match in a ranking event. He was unable to repeat his 2008 run in the World Championship losing 10Ц6 to an in-form Jamie Cope in the first round. This meant that he finished the season ranked at number 12. In 2009/2010 he only reached one quarter-final and consequently slid to 19th in the rankings. In the World Championship he beat Michael Holt 10Ц4 and trailed Ali Carter 10Ц6 before winning five frames on a row to lead 11Ц10 but lost 13Ц11.
Perry was a losing finalist in Event 1 (Ronnie O'Sullivan won 4Ц0) and Event 12 (Stephen Maguire won 4Ц2) during the minor-ranking 2011/2012 Players Tour Championship series. These results helped him qualify for the Finals as he finished 11th on the Order of Merit. It was at the Finals where Perry had his best run in a ranking event during the 2011/2012 season as he beat Fergal O'Brien and Graeme Dott, before being defeated by Neil Robertson 1Ц4 in the quarter-finals. In the other ranking events during the year he reached the second round three times, culminating in a 7Ц13 defeat to Maguire in the World Championship. Perry finished the season ranked world number 24. He began the 2012/2013 season by reaching the second round of the Wuxi Classic thanks to the withdrawal of Matthew Stevens and lost 4Ц5 to Ricky Walden. He was beaten 1Ц5 by Marco Fu in the first round of the Australian Goldfields Open, before recording his best result of the year at the Shanghai Masters. He beat Barry Pinches in qualifying, Stevens 5Ц2 in the first round and then whitewashed Neil Robertson 5Ц0 to make the quarter-finals. There was never a frame between Perry and Mark Williams in their quarter-final, with Perry making a 131 break to force a deciding frame which he lost. He won two more matches in ranking events during the rest of the season, the first being a 4Ц0 triumph over world number one Mark Selby in the first round of the Welsh Open.
He was knocked out 3Ц4 by veteran Alan McManus in the subsequent round. The second was in the PTC Finals which Perry had qualified for by finishing 20th on the Order of Merit. He beat Stuart Bingham 4Ц2, before losing 3Ц4 to Ben Woollaston. Perry's season ended when he was beaten 3Ц10 by world number 83 Sam Baird in the final round of World Championship Qualifying. His end of season ranking was world number 20.
In June 2013, Perry won the first tournament carrying ranking points of his 22-year professional career at the Players Tour Championship event, the Yixing Open, with a 4Ц1 defeat of Mark Selby in the final. A week later he outplayed Ding Junhui in the second round of the Wuxi Classic to win 5Ц1 an then beat David Gilbert 5Ц2 in the following round, before being defeated 5Ц2 by John Higgins in the quarter-finals. Another quarter-final followed at the Australian Goldfields Open where he was eliminated 5Ц2 by home favourite Neil Robertson.
Perry won a quarter-final at the third time of asking this season at the International Championship with a 6Ц1 victory over Ryan Day. His semi-final match against Marco Fu was extremely close and laden down with long spells of tactical play as many frames lasted 40 minutes, which Fu edged 9Ц8 on the colours. He also participated in the 2013 World Games in Cali, Colombia, where he represented the UK. He won his first game against Brendan O'Donoghue but subsequently lost in the quarter finals to eventual gold medalist Aditya Mehta.
Perry's good play continued into 2014 as he advanced to the quarter-finals of the German Masters with the loss of just three frames, but he then lost 5Ц2 to Ding. He secured a very impressive 5Ц1 win over Selby in the quarter-finals of the Welsh Open, stating that his new found casual approach to the game was a key reason to his successful season. However, it was Ding who once again halted his run in a ranking event as he beat Perry 6Ц4. A sixth quarter-final appearance of the season came at the PTC Finals, but he lost 4Ц2 to Judd Trump. Perry fought back from 6Ц3 down after the opening session of his first round match with Jamie Burnett at the World Championship to win 10Ц7 and set up a second round clash with reigning champion Ronnie O'Sullivan. Perry started the better of the two as he established a 5Ц3 lead after the opening session and maintained his two frame advantage after the second, although he missed a chance in the final frame to be 10Ц6 ahead. Perry went on to lead 11Ц9, before O'Sullivan leveled the match and then made back-to-back century breaks to win 13Ц11, with Perry remarking afterwards that he had been "blown away by a genius" in the last few frames.
Perry said that if he could maintain his own attitude and mindset he would win his first major ranking title in the future. Perry ended the campaign as the world number 15, inside the top 16 for the first time in five years.
At the 2014 Wuxi Classic, Perry dropped just four frames to reach the semi-finals and then beat Martin Gould 6Ц4 to reach his second career ranking final and the first in 13 years. He played friend and practice partner Neil Robertson and from 8Ц6 down won three unanswered frames to stand on the edge of his first ranking title, but Robertson then made breaks of 87 and 78 to edge Perry out 10Ц9. Afterwards, Robertson suggested that Perry's talent should see him become a top 10 player in the future. Perry failed to advance beyond the last 32 in the next four ranking events.
Perry defeated Ding Junhui in the first round of the Masters Ц his first ever win in the tournament Ц but then lost 6Ц3 to Mark Allen with both players missing a catalogue of easy balls during the match which Allen described as embarrassing afterwards. However, less than a week later, Perry won the Xuzhou Open by beating Thepchaiya Un-Nooh 4Ц1 in the final to claim his second Asian Tour title in as many years.
Perry's form on the PTC circuit saw him seeded seventh for the Grand Final in Bangkok, Thailand. Perry defeated Ding Junhui 4Ц1, Anthony McGill 4Ц3 from 3Ц1 down, and Michael Holt and Stuart Bingham 4Ц1 each to reach his third major ranking final and second of the season. He recovered from 3Ц0 down against Mark Williams to win 4Ц3 and claim the first major title of his 23-year playing career, in addition to his highest prize earning of £100,000 and a place inside the world's top ten. When Perry finished the season at ninth in the rankings it marked his highest year-end ranking to date.
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