World Snooker Championship 2021 - Kyren Wilson takes charge of semi-final with Shaun Murphy
Kyren Wilson is eager to avenge his loss in the World Championship final last year and he made a strong start to his clash with Shaun Murphy. Wilson and Murphy are battling for a place in the final at the Crucible against either Mark Selby or Stuart Bingham. The two semi-finals will play to a conclusion on Friday and Saturday.
'He's one of the few players I'd watch' - O'Sullivan praises Murphy
Kyren Wilson delivered a performance out of the top drawer to secure a 6-2 lead over Shaun Murphy in their World Championship semi-final.
After losing the opening frame of the match, Wilson showed an excellent blend of attacking play and tactical nous to take an early stranglehold on the clash.
With the semi-finals the best of 33 frames, Murphy has time to work his way into the contest - and the scoreboard will not be a huge concern at this stage - but he will need to hope Wilson’s level drops on Friday if he is to remain in the hunt to secure a second world crown.
Wilson made a confident start and looked rock solid, but broke down on 24 and Murphy punished the error with a break of 74.
'What happened there?' - Murphy misses pink by miles with bizarre shot
Cue-ball control has been an issue for Wilson in previous years but it has looked much improved this season - his heavy scoring has confirmed this - and it was in evidence in the third frame.
After taking the second to level the scores, Wilson arrived at the table in the third with little to go on. But he opened up the reds and kept a tight rein on the white to set up a superb break of 110, his seventh century of the tournament.
Murphy’s positive start was swept away by a wave of relentless potting from Wilson. He followed up the 110 with a 72 to take a 3-1 advantage into the first interval of the contest.
Wilson returned from the interval in the same vein, with Murphy breaking off and then remaining in his seat as his opponent picked off a long red and promptly compiled his 72nd century of the season.
O'Sullivan explains key to winning world titles in Crucible finals
Murphy is one of the game’s best long potters, but under increasing pressure from Wilson he missed a red from range at the start of the sixth. Wilson stepped in to knock in his third century in four frames, wowing the Crucible crowd with some stunning shots towards the end of the break.
“It has been a triumph of technique this evening,” said Eurosport’s Dominic Dale as Wilson knocked in his break of 121 to open up a 5-1 lead.
While Murphy has cued the ball excellently in Sheffield, he was strong mentally in withstanding a fightback from Judd Trump in the quarter finals and he showed great character to stem the tide by taking the seventh with an impressive break.
There was huge drama in the final frame as Wilson worked a winning position, only to knock the yellow into the middle to hand Murphy a chance.
'Magnificent' - Wilson storms to imperious century against Murphy
The 2005 champion won a safety battle to set up a counter, but a red into the right-middle failed to drop and Wilson puffed out his cheeks in relief and mopped up the colours to secure the eighth to take a four-frame buffer into Friday afternoon.