Disappointment turns to pride for Kettering star Kyren

Kettering's Kyren Wilson reached the final of the Dafabet Masters
Kettering's Kyren Wilson reached the final of the Dafabet Masters

Kyren Wilson believes he can be satisfied with what he did last week, despite being “gutted” after missing out on one of the most prestigious titles in world snooker.

The Kettering sensation enjoyed a superb few days at the Alexandra Palace as he reached the final in only his second appearance at the Dafabet Masters after wins over Barry Hawkins and Mark Williams before coming from 5-2 down to beat Judd Trump 6-5 in the semi-final.

The Kettering cueman was left devastated after suffering a 10-7 defeat to Mark Allen in the final

The Kettering cueman was left devastated after suffering a 10-7 defeat to Mark Allen in the final

That set up a Sunday showdown with Mark Allen in front of 2,000 people and a worldwide live television audience.

But Wilson, the world number 14, was left in tears after he was beaten 10-7 with Allen being the one to record his first Masters title.

Speaking this week, Wilson was still devastated after coming so close to his first Triple Crown title but he is certain his time will come.

“I am gutted, to be honest,” Wilson said.

Kyren Wilson celebrates after his stunning fightback against Judd Trump in the semi-final of the Dafabet Masters

Kyren Wilson celebrates after his stunning fightback against Judd Trump in the semi-final of the Dafabet Masters

“I am aching and I am tired but I have been surrounded by friends and family who have been boosting my spirits and telling me I should be proud.

“I am sure that when I sit down and reflect on it all, I will be happy with what I did last week.

“I think every match had a bit of everything. Against Barry I had the scoring, I thought I was good tactically against Mark and then I had the comeback against Judd.

“I just needed to find a bit more against Mark. He was just as hungry as I was and he had beaten Ronnie O’Sullivan and John Higgins to get there.

“I feel I am a better player when I have that spring in my step and I see things quickly.

“That’s how I tried to be in the evening session of the final and even at 8-5 down I felt I played naturally and had it not been for a missed brown, I could have been back at 8-8.

“Unfortunately it didn’t happen and I was gutted. But overall, I have to be pleased with the way I performed.

“I am so close to a second title (he won his first ranking title, the Shanghai Masters in 2015). I am doing the right things.

“I have got myself into three really big finals this season, it’s not as if they are pro-am competitions.

“My aim for this year was to do well in the UK, you get a lot of recognition and I lost to Ronnie O’Sullivan in the English Open final and now I have reached the Masters final.

“It’s disappointing to have lost but I am 26 years old and that was only my second appearance at the Masters. To get to the final at the second attempt is pretty good going.”

While it was his snooker that delighted the crowds at the Alexandra Palace, one other moment certainly left people with plenty to talk about.

Playing a key shot in the final, Wilson was disturbed by a mobile phone going off no fewer than three times.

It resulted in one spectator about to be given his marching orders before Wilson intervened and told security not to throw the fan out.

It was a moment that eventually went viral on social media with many praising Wilson for stepping in.

He said: “I felt really sorry for him. He was an older gentleman and it was actually someone else’s phone that went off the first two times and then it was his the third time.

“I don’t want to see anyone chucked out. He is obviously a man who loves his snooker and paid good money to come and watch.

“I certainly didn’t want to see anyone shamed in anyway so I just said what I felt was right.”

Wilson, of course, will prefer the talk to be all about his snooker.

And while the disappointment of missing out in the final remains raw, he is already looking ahead to the qualifiers for the China Open over this weekend.

There is, of course, also the World Championship on the horizon and, after his super showing at the Masters, the Kettering ace knows he will be a marked man, although that’s something he believes he can now deal with.

“The next thing for me is Barnsley for the China Open qualifiers,” he added.

“They have just announced a new four-year deal with the promoters out there and it is a £225,000 first prize, which is even bigger than the Masters so it just shows that snooker is over there.

“But a lot of people will already be looking at the World Championship and I will look forward to it as well.

“Having a target on my back is not something I have dealt with well in the past.

“But I think I have proven I can handle the big stage. I played in front of 2,000 people at the Masters and I was on live television on the BBC and Eurosport on that Sunday night so I think I have shown I can handle it.”