Kettering snooker star Kyren Wilson returns to the scene of his greatest triumph so far this weekend.
The world number 14 heads to the Shanghai Masters a year on from winning the competition, which was his first ranking title in what proved to be a breakthrough season.
Wilson defeated Judd Trump in the final 12 months ago when he was ranked 54 in the world and hasn’t looked back since.
And the 24-year-old, who heads out to China tomorrow (Friday) admits it will be a special feeling to return as the defending champion.
“I am really looking forward to it,” he said.
“It’s one of the tournaments I really like and to be going back as defending champion is very special.
“It’s little things like being one of the faces on the posters and on the side of the stadium, it means the people out there haven’t forgotten about what happened a year ago.
“It’s one of these tournaments where we are very well looked after and the fans love their snooker in Shanghai.”
Wilson will face either Michael Holt or Xu Si in his first-round match as they do battle in the wildcard stage.
And should he be successful, he could be on a collision course with the great Ronnie O’Sullivan in the second round.
“It’s important that I don’t look too far ahead,” the Kettering man added.
“The best of the best will be out there because the top 16 are in it automatically and then there are 16 qualifiers who have worked hard to earn their places.
“Each round and each match is going to be very difficult.
“I have to put the fact that I am the defending champion to one side and just take it as another tournament that I have prepared well for.
“I know I am going to have to turn up right from the start if I am going to do well.”