Kettering's Kyren vows to come back stronger after defeat to Murphy

Kyren Wilson let leads of 6-2 and 10-6 slip as former Northamptonshire man Shaun Murphy fought back to seal his place in the world final

Sunday, 2nd May 2021, 7:06 am
Updated Sunday, 2nd May 2021, 7:10 am
Kettering's Kyren Wilson congratulates former Irthlingborough man Shaun Murphy after the latter fought back to win 17-12 in their World Championship semi-final clash at the Crucible. Picture courtesy of Getty Images

Kyren Wilson vowed to come back fighting after suffering yet more heartbreak with semi-final defeat in the Betfred World Snooker Championship.

The Kettering snooker star was looking for back-to-back finals in Sheffield but saw a 6-2 and 10-6 lead evaporate to lose 17-12 to 2005 world champion Shaun Murphy, who grew up in Irthlingborough.

The two resumed in a dramatic final day at 12-12 but Murphy, who is now based in Dublin, turned the screw in the final session to leave the 29-year-old without a sniff in the closing stages.

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“It was quite frustrating, I felt I was in complete control of the match and completely out-playing Shaun,” Wilson said.

“His long potting was sensational, when his cue action gets going it’s a Rolls-Royce cue action, when his timing is there, the balls are just hitting the back of the pocket with easy. He makes it look easy.

“In hindsight, that probably does mean a bit more to Shaun than it does to me. He’s a little bit older and hasn’t had the success here in recent years that I have.

“That’s the positive to take forward. It will always make me stronger and I’ll come back again.”

Having fans back in the venue ensured there was a raucous atmosphere in the Crucible Theatre.

And Murphy was certainly using that to his advantage, with numerous fist-pumps and geeing up of the crowd at the end of several frames.

“I think it looks a bit silly, it’s not for me,” said Wilson of Murphy’s gestures. “Shaun’s got to do what he’s got to do to try and get to me.

“I’m not saying it did. But fair play to him, he’s a great champion and he got on a roll.”

Murphy responded: “Fist pumps, I personally don’t have a problem with it, I think we need that in sport, I think it’s something that snooker doesn’t have that in common with other sports.

“I don’t think there’s anything wrong with it or I was disrespectful to Kyren in any way, it was celebrating my shots at my time and I don’t think there’s anything wrong with it.”

Wilson was the only one of the four semi-finalists not to have previously been crowned world champion but there’s the feeling that that tag will end in the coming years.

Semi-final defeat in Sheffield brings the curtain down on another stellar season, with two Championship League trophies in his cabinet as well as a gluttony of ranking event quarter-finals.

Those performances certainly match his world No.6 ranking but now he feels it’s time to go through the gears and sit within touching distance of the top.

“I still feel really good now. The annoying thing was that my long game was there, I was crunching in some great long pots, but ran slightly out of position,” he added.

“They are all ifs and buts, they’re all gone now and it’s well done to Shaun.

“It’s been solid. I would have liked to have won more trophies, I’ve been around about my ranking so it’s time to look for something a bit fresh to get that extra notch on the rankings and become a regular tournament winner.

“I’ve got a very young family; I try and juggle my time to spend with them while also practicing hard. I’ll probably put my cue away for the best part of a month.

“There’s more to life than snooker for me.”

Watch the World Snooker Championship live on Eurosport and Eurosport app from April 17- May 3