Kyren Wilson believes this will be ‘one of the toughest years’ to win the Betfred World Championship.
The Kettering snooker star is preparing for his second-round match against world number 51 Jamie Jones, which gets under way at the Crucible in Sheffield today (Friday).
Wilson, who trains at Barratts Club in Northampton, enjoyed a comfortable passage through the opening stage as he saw off former Masters champion Matthew Stevens 10-3.
He will start as the favourite to beat Jones and seal a place in the quarter-finals.
But the world number nine knows nothing can be taken for granted, especially after Jones stunned former world champion Shaun Murphy by coming from 8-5 down to secure a dramatic 10-9 victory in their first-round encounter.
Wilson’s own performance against Stevens has created a buzz around the county man in his fourth appearance at the Worlds.
But, even with defending champion Mark Selby being a first-round casualty in his side of the draw, Wilson knows things are only going to get harder.
“It’s nice that people are talking about me,” the 26-year-old said.
“I have had a good season and with this being my fourth appearance at the Crucible, people are getting more and more familiar with me.
“People are saying that I have a chance and that’s great but you can only play the next game.
“I wouldn’t say Mark Selby going out has opened things up because there is still a lot of quality in the field.
“It’s going to be one of the toughest years to win it simply because the standard continues to rise.
“I just need to concentrate on my own matches.
“Matthew is a great player. When I was drawn with him it was always going to be tricky because he is someone who has been there and done it so to beat him quite comfortably was very pleasing.
“I now have Jamie in the second round and he is a great player in his own right.
“It’s the World Championship so it’s only going to get tougher and tougher, there are certainly no easy games.”
The best of 25 contest, starts at 2.30pm on Friday afternoon with the second session on Saturday morning before the match will be played to a finish on the same evening.