Six-time Crucible runner-up Jimmy White is backing Kyren Wilson to win the World Championship after being impressed by his mentality in Sheffield.
Wilson, the only player left in the tournament who has not won the title, leads Shaun Murphy 10-6 after the second session in their best-of-33 encounter. Mark Selby is 9-7 ahead of Stuart Bingham in the other semi-final.
With pre-tournament favourites Judd Trump, Neil Robertson and Ronnie O’Sullivan already out in Sheffield, White believes it is the perfect opportunity for Wilson to strike.
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“Kyren Wilson’s snooker last night [Thursday] is the best I’ve ever seen him play,” White told Andy Goldstein on Eurosport’s The Break podcast.
“His cue ball control, he was just showing us what he really does have. We know he has great self-belief, great cue action, and he disregards bad shots and gets on with it.
“The greatest winners in any sport, when it goes bad, they seem to blank it out and get on with the next shot, which he is doing.
“On form, of what I’ve seen in the semi-finals, Kyren Wilson is going to be the new champion of the world.”
'Go on say it…' – Ashen-faced Wilson gives away 53 points from one snooker
Wilson had previously admitted to Eurosport that he wished to avenge his defeat to O’Sullivan in last year’s final – and vowed to “get my bum out” if he won the title this time around.
The 29-year-old has only won a single title this season, the Championship League, and fell at the quarter-finals stage in the Masters and UK Championship.
However, he has fine-tuned his game to thrive at the multi-session World Championship and is in pole position to reach the final.
Wilson has always enjoyed his visits to Sheffield, reaching the last eight at least on his last six visits – a far cry from his results at other events, which are littered with early exits.
White expects Selby to be Wilson's opponent in the four-session final and believes the Warrior can end his hoodoo against the Jester. Wilson has never beaten Selby outside the best-of-five Championship League format.
“Kyren Wilson has never beaten Mark Selby. If they play like they are both playing now, there’s only one winner for me.”
Joe Johnson, Crucible champion in 1986 added: "The standard of play is unbelievable,"
"The record is 100 centuries at the Crucible and I think we’ve got every chance of doing that [this year]. That tells you how high the standard is.”
“And as to who is going to win it? I think any of the four obviously. I think all four have been playing inspired snooker. The standard is so high.”
Selby makes back-to-back total clearances of 134
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