When Ronnie O'Sullivan Walked Out On Stephen Hendry | 2006 UK Championship Quarter Final

The 16 Seeds: Kyren Wilson

Continuing our series of Cazoo World Championship previews.
By Phil Yates

Seed 7: Kyren Wilson


Largely unheralded as a junior, Kyren Wilson soon made his mark in the professional game, his maiden ranking title, aged 23, arriving at the 2015 Shanghai Masters.

As an underdog in Chinaโ€™s largest city, Wilson edged Ding Junhui 5-4 in the quarter-finals, trounced Mark Allen 6-1 next time out and showed his mettle with silverware on the line, beating Judd Trump 10-9, running 75 in the heat of the decider.

Four more ranking triumphs have followed for this hard-working family man from Kettering, not to mention runs to the finals of major invitation events such as the Masters and Champion of Champions.

To become, and remain an elite player, reliable technique, unwavering dedication and steely nerve are essential. Wilson can rely on all three, not to mention smouldering ambition.


Despite the worrying health issues of youngest son, Bailey, understandably restricting his practice regime in the latter portion of the season, Wilson can look back on the campaign with pride.

Last summer, in Germany, Wilson beat Barry Hawkins 9-3 to win the European Masters. He was also a semi-finalist at the Players Championship and reached the last eight of both the Scottish Open and German Masters.

That said his competitive send-off to the Crucible ultimately ended in dejection. After brushing aside Ding in the semi-finals of the Tour Championship, aided by six centuries, Wilson raced into a 4-0 lead over Shaun Murphy.

Yet, within striking distance of claiming his most prestigious trophy to date, Wilson faltered, losing 10-7. It was his eighth defeat in 13 ranking finals.


Certain players, thanks to style, attitude, mental stamina and desire, fit the Crucible like a glove. Wilson is among that number.

Although yet to snare the title first captured by Joe Davis in 1927, Wilson is convinced becoming world champion is a matter of destiny. Such convictions are not fanciful.

For six consecutive years from 2016 to 2021, Wilson reached at least the quarter-finals. He has been a losing semi-finalist twice, in 2018 and two years ago, but the pandemic delayed championship of 2020 witnessed his most satisfying run.

Wilson knocked out great rival Trump 13-9 in the last eight before squeezing past Anthony McGill 17-16 in arguably the most dramatic semi-final the Crucible has ever hosted. Only the might of Ronnie Oโ€™Sullivan stopped a dream becoming reality.


Previous Crucible appearances: 8

Matches played: 24

Matches won: 16

Crucible centuries: 40


A tried and tested strategy for selecting players to go deep at the Crucible is the horses for courses theory. General style of play and resilience is equally important. Wilson ticks all of those boxes.

Anyone previously involved from start to finish in the so called, 17 day marathon of the mind knows what to expect and has the ammunition to hit the target.


If Wilson uses his Tour Championship disappointment as additional motivation, a fourth appearance in the one-table set-up may well be on the cards.

Bookmakersโ€™ odds on Wilson: 14/1