At just 26-years-old Kyren Wilson is one of the most encouraging rising players in world snooker.
With a no fear attitude and ability to match the games of the elite on form, he is a man that should not be ruled out for future glory. From Bristol in the UK, Wilson really is a superb ambassador for the sport and all sports in general.
An honest man who admits to any foul should it go unnoticed to a referee, he certainly leaves everything out on the table.
A major threat already
Having already shown promising signs so far in 2018, Wilson nicknamed ‘The Warrior’ will certainly be feeling positive about the future. Runner up in a major, the Masters, against Mark Allen followed by a run to the World Championship semi-final, any respectable snooker fan would recognise he has talent.
On the way to a Masters final, Wilson showed up with his best game against some quality opponents. Fellow World Championship semi-finalist Barry Hawkins was sent packing in the first round with a 6-4 victory for Wilson. He went on to follow it up with a convincing 6-1 drubbing of the current World Champion Mark Williams. Next up… Judd Trump. Another young player tipped for great things within the game. On this occasion Wilson just edged past Trump 6-5, setting up a final meeting with Northern Irishman Mark Allen.
Mark Allen was eventually successful after a captivating contest, winning 10-7. After his victory Allen went on to complement Wilson’s competitive edge, saying: “What a competitor Kyren Wilson is.”
“He’s also the nicest guy. Kyren will have many more days like this.”
Stepping up into snooker’s most prestigious tournament, Wilson proved that the longer format is not an issue. The Englishman was rather comfortable in seeing off his first two opponents in round one and two. Matthew Stevens and Jamie Jones were dispatched, 10-3 and 13-5 respectively. Revenge proved to be sweet for Wilson in the quarter-final, he beat Allen 13-6. The semi-final was as far as it got this year, as experience proved key. Four-time former World Champion proved too much as Wilson missed out on World Championship final, losing 17-13.
Respect of the best
After misery in another final back in 2017 against arguably the greatest ever, Ronnie O’Sullivan, the legend of the game tipped Wilson for future glory. Speaking having beat Wilson in the English Open final, O’Sullivan said: “He will undoubtedly be a world champion. He’s the man for the present and the future.”
“I’m just trying to hold on to him. I just had to stay focused and try to allow myself to play.”
“It was a very, very good performance and it to be very good – you don’t play that well unless you feel like you had to.”
“If I had played one of the bottom players, I might have come out slow. I knew I had to play that well.”
Wilson’s broke through in 2015 when he won the win Shanghai Masters – his first ranking event success. Now sitting comfortably in the world’s top 16 at ninth, Wilson has gone from strength to strength. Lover of a long pot, he should definitely be watched carefully.
By James Miller