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Wilson Beats Perry In Thriller

Kyren WilsonRising star Kyren Wilson won a match at the Crucible for the first time with a dramatic 10-9 victory over Joe Perry at the Betfred World Championship.

Wilson became the last player to progress to the second round and Perry’s defeat made him the seventh top-16 seed to fall at the first hurdle. Both players had chances in the deciding frame but it was world number ten Perry who missed out, as Warrior Wilson went through to a last 16 clash with Mark Allen.

Kettering’s 24-year-old Wilson established himself as one of snooker’s most exciting young talents when he won his maiden ranking title at the Shanghai Masters in September, beating Judd Trump 10-9 in the final. He has climbed to 19th in the world and looks sure to go much higher in the coming years.

Wilson had previously played just one match at the Crucible – losing 10-7 to Ricky Walden on his debut two years ago – but tonight he showed the ability and temperament needed to succeed on the sport’s biggest stage.

Wilson led 5-4 after the first session and there was never more than one frame between them in the second as they battled down the closing stretch. Perry compiled runs of 72, 59 and 80 over the first six frames tonight while Wilson kept pace with 129 and 60. Frame 16 was a key moment as Wilson trailed 8-7 and came to the table 53-8 behind with the balls in awkward positions, but fashioned a brilliant 58 clearance which drew him level.

A run of 62 put him 9-8 up, and Wilson had chances to seal victory in the next but couldn’t get over the winning line. The frame lasted 57 minutes and Perry eventually won it by potting pink and black after his opponent had missed a tricky pink to a top corner.

Joe PerryPerry had the first clear chance in the decider and made 24 before running out of position. Wilson replied with 28, then got another chance as Perry was unlucky to hit the knuckle of a centre pocket while playing safe towards baulk. Wilson kept his composure to score a match-winning 32.

“It was a fantastic match throughout, we flowed off each other,” said Wilson. “There were a lot of big breaks, that’s the way all snooker players like to play. It was very entertaining, and the fans love a decider in the end.

“It was tough to take losing the frame when I was 9-8 up, I felt like I had the match in my hands. I had to get myself ready for the decider.

“I’m starting to get more and more comfortable under TV conditions, it’s not easy for the young lads to come through, especially at places like the Crucible. I want to make memories here, and you’re only going to do that by winning matches. To do that here for the first time is fantastic, it’s only just behind winning in Shanghai in terms of my best moments.

“The next match will be my first best-of-25. It’s great to play the top players at top venues with top conditions, so I’m very much looking forward to it.

“I try not to think about how far I could go, but winning in Shanghai puts more pressure on my shoulders. I come to tournaments believing I can win, but you can’t get too far ahead of yourself, the standard is so good nowadays.”

Perry said: “I was hoping to get a chance in the decider, I got one but I slightly over screwed on a black. It just wasn’t meant to be in the end. I was just chasing the game the whole time, I didn’t feel good.

“I was happy with the way I played, but I got frustrated and I didn’t get the run of the balls in the match. Little things were bothering me that normally don’t bother me, I just felt that every time something could go wrong it went wrong, I’m really gutted.

“I know how good a player and potter Kyren is – he played great, he potted some unbelievable balls. If he keeps potting the pressure balls and landing those long pots he can go far. He’s proved once again he has what it takes to get over the line.

“I’m glad the season is over, it’s been a real mixed bag for me. I’m looking forward to next year.”

Meanwhile in a second round match, Ali Carter went 5-3 up on Alan McManus in their first session. Carter took a 3-1 lead with a top break of 103 then McManus fought back to 3-3 with 71 and 50. Carter made an excellent 71 clearance to regain the lead then added the last with a run of 65.