SNOOKER: Wilson ready for lengthy battle as he cruises into Crucible semi-finals
Energy drink manufacturers in Sheffield, get ready '“ Northants ace Kyren Wilson reckons he might need a case of Red Bull to make it through his first-ever Betfred World Snooker Championship semi-final.
Kettering’s Wilson achieved a lifelong dream in reaching the one-table set-up at the Crucible by finishing off Mark Allen in their quarter-final on Wednesday afternoon but he’s got his eyes on a bigger prize, providing he can last the distance in the best-of-33 format.
The cueman – who practises at Barratts Club in Northampton – had fallen at the quarter-final stage in the World Championship for the past two years but cleared that hurdle by dispatching Allen 13-6.
Most of the damage was done on Tuesday evening when he won seven frames from eight to move from 4-4 to 11-5 and wasted little time in wrapping things up the following afternoon.
The 26-year-old will now play a four-session semi-final starting on Thursday, as the Crucible Theatre moves from hosting two tables to just one, and is relishing the new experience.
“It’s going to be very special,” said Wilson.
“You dream of playing in the one-table set-up when you come to the Crucible – you don’t think of the arena as the two tables with the dividing wall.
“Doing that was a personal goal which I’ve now reached, so it’s something I’m proud to have achieved and ticked off.
“It will be a new experience and a brand-new arena, so I will enjoy the occasion. I’ve never played the best-of-33 format before but just give me a case of Red Bull next to me – that’ll do! It’s going to be good fun.
“I’m starting to notch up the Crucible wins on the belt – two quarter-finals, a semi-final now and hopefully further.
“I’m just glad to get past that quarter-final barrier – it was getting a little bit annoying. The last two years it went quite wrong – losing 13-6 to [John] Higgins and 13-8 to [Mark] Selby. I was happy to put that to bed.”
Wilson is quickly accruing plenty of big-match experience – having reached the Masters final at London’s Alexandra Palace in January before losing to Allen.
The world No.9 played down the importance of exacting revenge in the World Championship quarter-final but having reached the last-four, he sees no reason he shouldn’t be lifting the trophy for the first time on Bank Holiday Monday.
“I’ve always believed I can win this tournament,” added Wilson. “Every year that I’ve come back here, I’ve got stronger and stronger and stronger.
“I was a little bit like a rabbit in the headlights in my first year, like I’m sure many players were, but the second year I came back I absolutely loved it and every year I enjoy it even more.”
Watch the snooker World Championship LIVE on Eurosport and Eurosport Player with Colin Murray and analysis from Ronnie O’Sullivan, Jimmy White and Neal Foulds.