'Warrior' Wilson fights back to reach the last eight
Kyren Wilson produced a sensational fightback to secure his place in the quarter-finals of the Betfred World Championship.
The Kettering snooker star, who reached the semi-finals last year, had trailed Barry Hawkins 6-1 during the first session of the second-round match the Crucible yesterday (Sunday).
But he claimed yesterday evening session to cut Hawkins’ advantage to 9-7 and it didn’t take long for the ‘Warrior’ to wipe out the ‘Hawk’s’ remaining two-frame cushion this afternoon.
The world number eight took the first two of the session to draw level for the first time since the start of the match at 9-9.
However, three-time ranking event winner Hawkins took to the front once again in the following frame, compiling a run of 64 to go 10-9 up before Wilson ensured parity at the mid-session interval with a break of 84.
Wilson had looked set to move further in front, before breaking down on a contribution of 43.
That allowed Hawkins to step in and counter with a break of 69 to regain the lead at 11-10
Fortunes were reversed in the following frame.
Hawkins was in first, before misjudging a plant to the bottom corner on 41. Wilson stepped in and made a sublime clearance of 81 to make it 11-11.
From that moment, the Kettering star ruthlessly charged to the line as he made consecutive century breaks of 125 and 132 to clinch a superb win.
The high quality encounter saw the pair fire in nine centuries between them, with Wilson contributing five and Hawkins compiling four.
And the 27-year-old Northamptonshire cueman said: “It was a bit frustrating in the first session, Barry played awesome and I just kept on leaving out the long ones. His long game was absolute A1 right throughout so it was frustrating that I couldn’t get my own form into the match.
“But I knew it was in there somewhere. I stuck to my guns and stayed positive throughout the whole match.
“The game with John Higgins last year in the semi-finals, I had to really draw on my experience from that for this match.
“I got off to a horrible start in that match last year and kept plodding away and trying to fight back and get within touching distance.
“I think I drew on that experience this time around and used it to my advantage.”
Wilson, who has enjoyed one of his best seasons on the World Snooker Tour, now plays David Gilbert in the last eight with the match getting under way tomorrow (Tuesday).