Kyren Wilson negotiated a tense final frame decider to clinch a 6-5 victory over Mark Allen in the semi-finals of the Yushan World Open.
The win sees Wilson reach his third ranking event final and keeps his hopes alive of securing this week’s £150,000 top prize, which would be his biggest career payday. He came into today brimming with confidence after scoring 503 unanswered points in a 5-1 quarter-final win over Mark Williams which he described as ‘one of the best of his career’.
Both Wilson and Allen are looking for a first ranking title since 2015. Wilson won his first and only ranking event to date at the 2015 Shanghai Masters and Allen last tasted silverware at the 2015 Players Championship.
The pair were never more than a frame apart in today’s intriguing battle. There were no big breaks in the first three frames, however Allen ensured parity at the interval with a run of 103 to make it 2-2.
They continued to trade frames after the break. Wilson eventually edged ahead at 4-3, thanks to a fine contribution of 82. Allen responded in the eighth frame by depositing a gutsy double to the left middle which clinched the frame and levelled the scores once more.
With Wilson leading 5-4, he missed a straightforward red to the bottom left and allowed Allen to clear with 94 to force a final frame. It came down to the last red, which Wilson potted after Allen missed the blue attempting to develop. Wilson showed his emotions by clenching his fist after coming through the bruising semi-final encounter.
“My nerves are gone I think,” said the 2015 Shanghai Masters winner. “Mark is such a good player, he has so much bottle. I didn’t expect him to miss that blue in the decider. To come through that in the end is very pleasing.
“It is so hard to win a tournament let alone win the final. I will have another tough game against Ding or Luca, but I’m starting to like it here on this side of the world.”
It was an understandably difficult defeat for Allen to take and in particular after having a chance to clinch the tie in the last frame.
Allen said: “I got myself in a position to win, did all the hard work and took my eyes off an easy blue.
“I’m absolutely gutted. It would have been great to get into the final and have a shot at the big prize, but I know my game is coming into good shape and there are a lot of positives to take from the week.”