Kettering snooker star Kyren Wilson is hungry for more of the big time after a superb showing in his first appearance in the final stages of a ranking event.
The 21-year-old, who practices at Barratts Snooker Club in Northampton, won four qualifying matches to earn his place in the last 32 of the Shanghai Masters.
And he made the most of his trip to the Far East as he recorded respective 5-1 and 5-3 victories over Stuart Bingham and Marco Fu before bowing out to Michael Holt in the quarter-finals.
Wilson is currently enjoying his second season as a professional and he described his experience in Shanghai as “surreal”.
“It was an incredible time and it was all pretty surreal from the moment I arrived at the airport and was greeted by a television crew who wanted to do an interview with me,” said Wilson, who went into the event ranked 100 in the world.
“It wasn’t just about the snooker, it was everything else that went with it.
“There were fans asking for my autograph and the more games you win over there, the higher your profile gets.
“We had the red carpet event, which was amazing but I went there to try to win the competition.
“I had a difficult draw but I just wanted to go over there and enjoy it and I think that helped in the first two matches.
“I didn’t feel any pressure until I stepped out against Michael in the quarters that I realised I was actually in with a chance of winning the whole thing. I think that affected me a bit and that is something to learn from.
“But just being there has made me hungry for more.”
Wilson is now back in the County and preparing for the International Championship qualifiers, which take place in Barnsley next week.
He then heads to Germany for the fifth European Tour event before taking part in the Indian Open, another ranking event in which he has qualified for the final stages.
“The International Championship is in China and it is probably the second biggest competition on the calendar now in terms of prize money and ranking points,” he added.
“So I really want to do well in Barnsley before the other competitions. It is full steam ahead for me at the moment.
“But it is good to be back home. It is my fiancee’s 21st birthday tomorrow so we are having a big party, which will double up as a bit of a celebration for what happened in Shanghai as well.”