Kettering’s Wilson fancies his chances on Crucible debut

Kyren Wilson will face Ricky Walden in the first round of the World Snooker Championships
Kyren Wilson will face Ricky Walden in the first round of the World Snooker Championships
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Kyren Wilson insists he “fancies his chances” against anyone as he begins his preparations for his debut at the World Snooker Championships.

The Kettering youngster qualified for The Crucible for the first this week after beating 2006 champion Graeme Dott.

And, in today’s first-round draw, the 22-year-old was paired with world number 12 Ricky Walden, who reached the semi-finals in Sheffield last year.

The match will be played over two sessions at 7pm on Monday and Tuesday next week.

And, after a whirlwind week for Wilson, he is now preparing for his debut at the famous venue.

“It really is a dream come true,” he said.

“I watched the tournament as a kid and to now get the chance to play in the World Championships at The Crucible is unbelievable.

“It is all starting to sink in now but it has been a bit surreal this week.

“I have to be honest, I wanted to play Ronnie O’Sullivan or Judd Trump because they are fast players like me and that is what the fans want to see.

“When you are in this tournament there are no easy draws and Ricky got to the semi-finals last year so he has been there and knows what it takes.

“But, at the same time, he has everything to lose because I am just a rookie qualifier.

“It is so hard to qualify for the competition and there is part of me that feels like I have done the hard work.

“But I have got to get out of that mindset now. I had to beat Graeme Dott to qualify and he is no mug and that match felt like one at The Crucible as far as I was concerned.

“I have taken a lot of belief from beating him and I fancy my chances against anyone on my day.”

The World Snooker Championships are being screened on the BBC and on Eurosport and get under way on Saturday.

You can also find full details of the event on