Record-breaker Kyren happy to show his battling qualities

Kettering's Kyren Wilson warmed up for the World Championship with a history-making success in the BetVictor Championship League

Thursday, 8th April 2021, 10:02 am
Updated Thursday, 8th April 2021, 10:04 am
Kyren Wilson shows off the trophy after he won the BetVictor Championship League. Picture courtesy of World Snooker Tour

Kyren Wilson was pleased his battling qualities came to the fore as he won the BetVictor Championship League for the second time this season.

The Kettering snooker star won the ranking version of the event earlier in the season and completed the unique double in Milton Keynes by winning in the invitational format to secure a place in the Champion of Champions later in the year.

But Wilson had to do things the hard way as he came back from 2-0 down to 3-2 in three matches in a row, including the semi-final against John Higgins and the final against Mark Williams.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

With the Betfred World Championship now just around the corner, it was the perfect preparation for World No.6 Wilson, who will be looking to go one better than last year when he was beaten by Ronnie O’Sullivan in the final at the Crucible.

“They (Higgins and Williams) are both up there with the all-time greats in our game so they know all the tricks of the trade and when they get their noses in front, they usually sprint to the line,” the Kettering potter said.

“They are only short formats with the games being best of five so even when you are 2-0 down, you still feel you haven’t got far to go to win the match.

“That’s how I was thinking when I found myself behind and I managed to come through the matches, which is encouraging.”

The Championship League proved to be a record-breaking event for Wilson.

He made 23 century breaks during the tournament, the most made in a single event as he eclipsed the previous record of 22 set by Neil Robertson in 2014.

Two of those centuries came against Higgins with the record-breaking visit being in the final as a superb clearance of 143 brought him back level at 2-2 with Williams.

“There are so many records floating about in snooker, it’s hard to get your hands on one,” he added.

“I was really pleased I was able to do it.

“Going into the last group I was being told by all the commentators that I had to make four centuries and it was putting a bit of pressure on me to do it.

“It wasn’t quite happening and I was probably chasing them a bit.

“Then in the last group game I was 2-0 down to Zhou Yuelong and if I had lost that I would have been out so it wasn’t looking too bright.

“But I managed to make one there and won 3-2 and then I managed to get the other three in the semi-final and final so I was delighted.”

Wellingborough’s Jamie O’Neill’s bid to earn a place at the Crucible begins this evening (Thursday) when he takes on Jamie Clarke in World Championship Qualifying.

The winner of that match will then play Joe Perry in the third round of qualifying and the winner of that will advance to the final stage where they will need to win again to earn a coveted spot in Sheffield.