By David Williams
Ryan Day has labelled his British Open snooker title triumph as the best performance of his career.
The Welshman took the final four frames in Milton Keynes to defeat Mark Allen 10-7 after what was an incredibly tense affair to win the 2022 British Open.
Coming into this showpiece encounter, Allen was the pre-match favourite, having easily turned over Noppon Saengkham in the semi-finals.
Day, on the other hand, defeated Robbie Williams in the semis by the skin of his teeth, calling his performance “embarrassing.” He came into this final as a former top player 10 with something to prove.
“It’s the biggest win of my life,” said Day, who now moves to 16th from 27th in the world rankings.
“I knew I really had to be on the top of my game. I’m just delighted I finished the match off.”
Anyone have Ryan Day back in the top 16 on their 2022 bingo cards? pic.twitter.com/3KkkYhIKAz
— Phil Haigh (@philhaigh_) October 2, 2022
“There have been some really bad days but you just have to keep plugging away and I am left lifting the trophy. It is a very special moment.
“And to share that with my family at the end of the table was really great. Luckily, I was able to shake off how I had played in the semi-final, go out and play some really good stuff.
“My wife had already booked a trip away to New York in December and the way the pound is going I might need most of this £100,000 for that holiday.
“A big win like this can shoot you back up the rankings a lot, and it is up to me to try and capitalise before Christmas in other tournaments.”
“It was a fantastic match and a top standard for most of it. I know Mark said he lost his action a biut at the end but I felt I got stronger and stronger.
In the first frame, Allen quickly got to 50 points with a black to the bottom-right pocket before sinking the red and emptying the table for 126.
Day quickly responded in the second frame by doing the exact same and emptying the table, making it 1-1.
The Welshman quickly built on his good form, taking the third frame after stunning off the blue and freeing two more reds.
What a Day and Night for Ryan Day
British Open Champion ✅️
Champion of Champions ✅️
World Grand Prix ✅️
Players Championship ✅️
Tour Championship likely ✅️
Back in The Top 16 ✅️
A good chance for The Masters ✅️#snooker pic.twitter.com/OZq6lg8muM
— Phil Mudd (@MuddPhil) October 3, 2022
In the fourth frame, however, Day was only able to drop in a red to hold for the pink, allowing Allen to get back in it with 75 points.
Allen was then able to put himself in a great position to take the fifth frame by cutting a red into the left middle and bringing the final red out and over the bottom right. He got to 105 points, and it did not matter that he eventually missed the green after that.
Punishing Allen, who missed a straight red, Day nabbed both the sixth and seventh frames in spectacular fashion, shocking the crowd with some great play.
Allen retaliated by taking the eighth frame after Day looked to gamble on a thin red to the bottom right, which didn’t come off for him, forcing him to concede the eighth frame.
The stakes clearly could not have been higher with it being 4-4, and after the break, it was Allen who again cleaned up after Day missed multiple chances to make it 5-4.
The two continued to go back and forth until the 14th frame, when Day took three in a row, scoring heavily and ensuring some breathing space by making it 7-9.
It proved to be too much to overcome for Allen, and while both missed shots in the final frame, it was Ryan who cleared the colours, winning the British Open and his fourth ranking tournament.
Allen was understandably disappointed with his play, saying: “I just completely lost my action and faith in the table. Ryan adapted better than I did and probably deserved to win.”