Robert Milkins’ amazing comeback in the Cazoo World Championship has astonished the world, overcoming an unfavorable 7-2 score to win 10-9 against Joe Perry in the opening round. It is the largest successful opening round come-from-behind win since 2017 and is the most memorable victory of Milkins’ 28-year career. Perry seemed to have the advantage in Tuesday’s session, but his luck ran out, and he missed a series of chances, providing Milkins with the opportunity to turn the tide. Milkins’ feat is awe-inspiring; particularly considering this was his first time competing as a top 16 seed at the Crucible. Milkins will now advance to the last 16, where he will go up against either Shaun Murphy or Si Jiahui.
Milkins showed great conviction and resilience throughout the game, taking the initial two frames and getting notable breaks of 61, 53, and 55 to make it a draw of 8-8. In the seventeenth frame, a fierce exchange of shots came down to the colors, with Perry having an opportunity to win it but failed to pocket a challenging brown to the baulk corner, enabling Milkins to edge ahead for the first time. Milkins went on to clinch the match with a deserved 63 in the final frame.
Reflecting on his awe-inspiring triumph, Milkins voiced that when you are 7-2 down, “you are pretty much out of the game.” He had decided to stay optimistic and go for higher percentage shots but in an aggressive manner in order to ignite his energy. Despite that, he was not content with the performance of the tip on his cue, though he will be able to practice and hone it further prior to his following game.
Perry was graceful in his loss, recognizing his own blunders and extolling Milkins for his remarkable game. “Rob Milkins didn’t outplay me in any extraordinary way today. In fact, he was merely replicating the same caliber of play I saw on Tuesday. What ultimately lost me the game was my own errors.”
Milkins’ inspiring comeback is a testament to his tenacity and skill as a snooker player. Fans will eagerly anticipate his next match at the Cazoo World Championship.