Focus was key to Wilson’s Shanghai glory

Judd Trump and Kyren Wilson pose for the cameras ahead of the Shanghai Masters final, which the Kettering man won 10-9. Picture courtesy of World Snooker/Tai Chengzhe
Judd Trump and Kyren Wilson pose for the cameras ahead of the Shanghai Masters final, which the Kettering man won 10-9. Picture courtesy of World Snooker/Tai Chengzhe

Kyren Wilson believes his ability to stay focused played a crucial part in his stunning Shanghai Masters success.

The Kettering snooker star won his first-ever ranking title in China after an amazing week culminated in a nail-biting 10-9 victory over world number seven Judd Trump in Sunday’s final.

Wilson went into that final, and the whole competition for that matter, as a rank outsider.

And when his 7-3 lead had been turned into a 9-9 scoreline, many would have expected Trump to go on and seal victory.

Instead, Wilson produced a clearance under immense pressure to lift the title, claim the £85,000 first price and a place in November’s Champion of Champions event.

Wilson, whose world ranking jumped from 54 to 22 after his victory, said: “At 7-3 up I had a lot of people coming up to me and saying that I was going to win but I knew it wasn’t done and dusted.

“You play each frame at a time and I knew Judd wouldn’t give up.

“For me, I was trying to put pressure on him as much as I could because he was the big favourite to win the match.

“And when it went to 9-7 I knew I would get a chance at some stage but nothing clear-cut came along.

“But I had half a chance with a red to the middle in the last frame and I just thought that was the opportunity for me. Luckily for me it went in.”

Wilson, meanwhile, was delighted his performances turned him into a firm favourite with the Shanghai crowd.

His week in the Far East saw him visit a school to speak to children about the sport while his displays ensured the crowd began to favour him, although that wasn’t always the case, especially when he saw off China’s Ding Junghui in the quarter-finals.

“It was another fantastic experience because the people out there are crazy for snooker,” the Kettering player said.

“As the week went on, the response towards me just got bigger with people asking for photos and autographs. It was brilliant and that’s the reason we all turn professional.

“The support in the first session against Judd and the match against Ding was so one-sided but I expected that because those guys have built their reputations by winning.

“But by the time we had reached the second session of the final, the fans were chanting my name and cheering for me. It was a strange but fantastic feeling.”

Wilson, meanwhile, will take on Thor Chuan Leong in his International Championship match on September 30.