Wilson cruises past Stevens to progress in World Snooker Championship

Kyren Wilson saw off Matthew Stevens in the first round of the Betfred World Championship at the Crucible
Kyren Wilson saw off Matthew Stevens in the first round of the Betfred World Championship at the Crucible

Northampton-based Kyren Wilson may have just thumped Matthew Stevens in the Betfred World Snooker Championship but he insists he has a lot of work to do if he is to challenge for the title.

The Kettering potter surged into the second round on Sunday night at the expense of the two-time runner-up with a clinical 10-3 win, displaying some neat touches on the table that suggests his game is in tip-top shape.

But a possible meeting with another Northants boy and former winner Shaun Murphy in the second round would be a major challenge – and Wilson is heading straight for the practice table back at Barratts Club in Northampton.

“I have a lot of confidence. I do know I need to improve in certain aspects, but it was a pleasing performance to start with,” said Wilson.

“I did not miss anything too simple. If you do that then you will be there or there abouts. It is about getting my preparation right now, perfecting what I can and coming back refreshed.

“Shaun Murphy has been there and done it and I know his game very well, we practice together quite a lot.

“He beat me in Llandudno at the Welsh Open, even with his bad back, so that was annoying.”

Wilson, seeded ninth at the Crucible Theatre, is as consistent as they come. A two-time quarter-finalist here, he often reaches the latter stages but is yet to crack it at a triple crown event.

That almost came at The Masters, where he reached the final before losing to Mark Allen, but it was there that he properly joined the elite.

And he started off like a train, taking advantage of an ill Stevens to open up a 7-2 lead on Saturday night before finishing the job 24 hours later.

“That was very satisfying, Matthew has been here and done it before so a 10-3 score is very flattering. I felt like I did most of the damage in the first session so I am really pleased to get the win,” he added.

“I did pick up on him being ill, he had his towel over his head and at 3-1 we both brought each other down a bit.

“We were both feeling sorry for ourselves, me with man flu and him with the stomach bug but I just thought I needed to take control.

“I wanted 6-3 out of the session but I won it 7-2 so I am very pleased with that.

“It was nice to keep the pressure on at the beginning of the second session, it put me back in control. I did well to finish it off.”

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.