Wilson: I want to retire as one of the best to play the game

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Kyren Wilson

Image credit: Getty Images

29/05/2020 at 10:58 | Updated 29/05/2020 at 12:02

Kyren Wilson has spoken to Eurosport about his ambitions to become one of the all-time snooker greats.

The world number eight has three ranking titles to his name, while he has reached the Welsh Open and Gibraltar Open finals so far this season.

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With the World Championships arranged for a July 31 start due to the coronavirus pandemic, Wilson has had time to reflect on his career to date.

The 28-year-old has reached three quarter-finals and one semi-final at the last four World Championships, and he spoke about how that last-four defeat to John Higgins in 2018 has inspired him to reach greater heights.

“I want to get to the very top,” Wilson told Eurosport. “I want to retire from the game and be able to say to my kids that I was one of the best that has ever played.

147! Watch Kyren Wilson’s magnificent maximum at the Welsh Open


“That’s what inspire me to play the game. I am nowhere near that at the moment but the good thing for me at the moment is that I have plenty of time on my side and there is going to be lots more opportunities all-round the world. I’ve just got to keep putting myself in those positions to get there.

I had a semi-final against John Higgins a few years ago now and he was just so difficult to beat, completely used every ounce of his experience on that occasion. I learnt a lot from that and I think it will stand me in very good stead for the future at the Crucible. I’m really craving the chance to get back to that position.

'Amazing to watch history with Wilson's perfect 147' - The Big Take


Life in lockdown

It’s been challenging in some respects as my son had just started school and was getting into the swing of things, enjoying his time, and the same for my youngest boy who had just settled into nursery – to take them both out of school in important stages in their life and put them in a confined space together for such a long time has been difficult for them.

“But on the other hand, I’ve had three amazing months watching my children grow up which I’ve never had before. I’ve really felt I’ve got to know them over this time.”

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And has this time in lockdown made Wilson hungrier for success? “Definitely. When I first fell off the tour when I was 17 or 18 years old, I completely took it for granted. I didn’t realise how much I loved my job, how much I loved the game and how lucky I was to be earning the money, seeing the different countries that I was going to see. I worked behind the bar at my local snooker club and two years later realised how much I loved and missed the sport so I got back into it.

Before this lockdown, I felt like I was going through a similar spell where I wasn’t appreciating it, probably taking it for granted but when something is taken away from you I wanted to do it any more. In hindsight, it’s been a blessing in disguise for me personally.

Embarrassed Wilson apologises after fluked brown wins him the frame


Return to action in the Championship League

“It’s going to be fantastic to be back playing competitive snooker,” says Wilson, who will be taking part in the Champions League from June 1.

The World Championship is still a long way away so it’s nice to come back to practice and know you have a tournament coming back soon. That’s always an important thing for me, I have feel I need to have something to aim for. It’s going to be tough, if you lose the first frame then you’ll do well to get a draw – I think you’ll have to get off to a fast start.

“I have a tough group, they are all good players but I am just looking forward to playing again.

'Everything was perfect' - Wilson on his 147


“I think it’s going to be really fascinating for people to watch. People are craving live sport and we’re one of the first sports to be back. Four frames means it will be very cut-throat. The first frame is going to be huge – if you lose it, you are going to have win three in a row to get the win.

“I’m sure some people will feel like they have been robbed of a win if it’s a draw because they’ll want to play a decider. But then others will think it’s something new.”

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