Kyren Wilson admitted he was left feeling “emotionally drained” after the tight schedule of the World Snooker Tour caught up with him earlier this week.
The Kettering snooker star received widespread sympathy on social media after he was forced to play in the first round of the Northern Ireland Open just 24 hours after he was involved in a gruelling encounter against Ronnie O’Sullivan in the final of the ManBetX Champion of Champions in Coventry.
Wilson was edged out 10-9 by O’Sullivan at the Ricoh Arena over two sessions on Sunday but then had to travel to Belfast to be ready to face Lee Walker in the next competition, a match he lost 4-3 late on Monday evening.
It brought the question of scheduling firmly under the microscope.
And the world number nine said: “I am a bit emotionally drained to be honest.
“I thought it was a bit poor that I was having to play on Monday.
“My game was actually switched from the afternoon to the evening but they couldn’t put it on Tuesday, which I do find a bit baffling.
“I guess it was always going to go one of two ways. Either I would be shattered and not put in a performance or I could have found what I needed to try to make sure I got over the final on Sunday quickly. Unfortunately, I think the first scenario happened.
“It’s tough. There are so many events and so much money to be made so you just have to get on with things but it was a very tough 24 hours.”
The disappointment of missing out on the Champion of Champions title is still raw for Wilson.
Having trailed 8-5, he fought back with runs of 56, 56, 104 and 65 to lead.
At 9-8, a break of 61 had Wilson on the brink of glory when he overcut a tricky red to a top corner.
O’Sullivan replied with 36 before running out of position and attempting an extremely risky cross-double on the last red. He missed his target but was fortunate to snooker the Kettering man, and from the chance that followed he cleared for 9-9.
Both players passed up chances early in the decider, and when an attempted double on a red went wrong for Wilson it proved his last shot, as O’Sullivan made a superb 110, his 11th century of the tournament.
“I am devastated,” Wilson conceded.
“It’s one of them. You try to get over a defeat and move on but it always eats away at you. You are always looking back and thinking what might have been.
“That’s part and parcel of being a sportsman. There are going to be many highs and lows but you have to try to turn those lows into positives for the future.
“But experiences like that teach you that you will get presented with chances and you have to take them.”