Wiser Wilson benefits from World Championship experience

Kyren Wilson
Kyren Wilson

Kyren Wilson believes the positive experiences of last year’s tournament paid dividends as victory over Stuart Bingham made him the first man into the Betfred World Championship quarter-final.

The Kettering potter moved into his second successive last-eight tie at the Crucible, seemingly enjoying being under the spotlight in just his third appearance at the home of snooker, easing over the line with a 13-10 win.

Resuming 9-7 ahead from the morning session, Wilson maintained the control that had seen him build up a 5-0 lead early on to constantly keep Bingham at arm’s length.

That was despite the 2015 world champion at one point having the chance of a maximum 147 break, with Wilson pleased his stay at his dream tournament is not over just yet.

“I learnt a lot from last year, it made me feel very, very comfortable as soon as I stepped in the doors in the first session of the first match,” he said.

“It’s not a bad record with only three years here, so long may that continue.

“Growing up watching this tournament as a kid I’ve dreamed of playing here, it’s so hard to get it, so you make the most of it.

“To be in my second quarter-final in three years is a testament to me as a player.

“I think I’m a consistent top-16 player, it’s not easy to do that, some players get up there and fade away, but I’ve been consistent and got myself to the business end of competition."

Wilson now plays either four-time champion John Higgins or Mark Allen in his bid for a maiden semi-final, with Allen holding a 5-3 lead in that best-of-25 encounter over the Scot.

But Wilson’s temperament means he’ll be a match for anyone standing in his way and is eyeing up a second ranking title.

The world No.14 compared the second half of this contest to a tennis tussle, constantly keeping a lead over Bingham, having opened up the evening with a break of 63.

The big tallies were made by his opponent, notably a tournament-high 137, though it was substance over style that eventually saw Wilson clinch victory 13-10 following breaks of 59 and 88.

“In the best-of-25 matches you’re never comfortable, not even at 5-0, I should have gone 6-0 and Stuart has shown how great a champion he is coming back at me,” he added.

“It was a case of returning serve, he got within one on a couple of occasions but I more or less had a two-frame lead for most of the match.

“I just kept him at bay, even before his 147 attempt I had 80 in the frame before so I was pleased with that.”

Watch the Snooker World Championship Live on Eurosport and Eurosport Player, with Colin Murray and analysis from Jimmy White and Neal Foulds