Kettering’s Kyren Wilson admitted his first taste of the Dafabet Masters has made him hungry for more despite a 6-3 first-round exit to Ding Junhui.
Making his debut at the tournament, after starting 2015/16 ranked 56th in the world, Wilson trailed 3-0 early on to the experienced Chinese potter, but fought back well either side of the mid-session interval.
He fought back to 3-2 and a 106 clearance saw him battle to 5-3 but it wasn’t enough for the 25-year-old who was eager to take the positives from his Alexandra Palace debut.
“I don’t know if there were nerves but butterflies for the occasion maybe, more excitement than nerves,” he said.
“I didn’t feel bad while I was out there, I felt quite good, the stats may not say that but it’s just one of those things.
“I think my first time at Crucible I was a bit like a rabbit in the headlights, I didn’t feel like that here.
“That’s definitely a positive to take from this evening’s experience but its cracking venue and a cracking tournament and I’ll do my damnedest to get back here next year.”
His century break in the eighth frame kept Ding honest when many thought the 2011 Masters winner was going to ease home and Wilson had a chance in frame nine too.
A foul on the yellow in that final frame eventually let Ding back to the table and he saw out the match but Wilson was proud to have displayed his fighting spirit.
And despite his first Masters experience ending earlier than he would have liked, the Kettering potter is determined put the lessons he has learned to good use.
“Obviously the century felt good because some people would have been thinking I was dead and buried,” he added.
“I’m not one of those characters that will lay down and let people walk all over me, I think I showed my fighting spirit.
“It was nice to show the crowd, some people who may not have seen me before, that I can actually play the game.
“It’s been strange for me, normally I have most of January off and I’m relaxing at home.
“I feel like I’ve got a little bit of a start on the rest of the tour, I’ve got a bit of match practice.
“We’ve got a busy February some qualifiers at the end of this month, I’ll go back and practice hard and try and consolidate my Crucible slot.”
Watch the London Masters LIVE on Eurosport 2, featuring daily studio analysis from Ronnie O’Sullivan, Jimmy White and Neal Foulds.