Kyren Wilson continued his brilliant run at the Dafabet Masters by coming from 5-2 down to beat Judd Trump 6-5 and reach the final.
Rising star Wilson had never won a match in snooker’s biggest invitation event before this week, but having knocked out Barry Hawkins, Mark Williams and now Trump, he is through to the final to face either John Higgins or Mark Allen over 19 frames at Alexandra Palace on Sunday.
Wilson is already guaranteed £90,000, which would be his biggest career pay-day, eclipsing the £85,000 he won for taking the 2015 Shanghai Masters title, when he beat Trump 10-9 in the final. It could be an even more lucrative day for the 26-year-old from Kettering as the champion will take home £200,000.
Wilson had never played in the semi-finals of a Triple Crown event before today but showed tremendous composure in the closing stages as he reeled off the last four frames. Victory tomorrow would give the world number 14 his first pro title since that Shanghai triumph 28 months ago. He will be playing his third final of the season having lost to Ronnie O’Sullivan at the English Open and Ding Junhui at the Yushan World Open.
Trump, who has now lost all three of his Masters semi-finals, took a scrappy opening frame then Wilson cleared from yellow to black to snatch the second. World number three Trump took the next two with breaks of 83 and 52 to lead 3-1 at the interval.
Wilson pulled one back with an 81 but his opponent looked to be cruising towards the winning line as runs of 96 and 69 made it 5-2. But Trump potted just one ball in the next three frames as Wilson won them all with top breaks of 57 and 107.
Trump had first chance in the decider and made 23 before running out of position. After a brief safety exchange, Trump went for a risky plant to a top corner but missed his target. Wilson compiled a superb match-winning run of 72 which included several daring pots.
“Even if it was 5-2, I was just going to fight until the end,” said Wilson, who had support among the crowd from wife Sophie and parents Sonya and Rob. “It’s one of those venues where funny things can happen. Many come backs have happened over the years here. I like to think I drew some inspiration from the late Paul Hunter. I felt like it was maybe my time to do that.
“Judd’s safety game really impressed me in the first few frames. From 5-2 I started to take my chances with good breaks. I felt nervous but good going into the decider. Lady luck was on my side.
“I’m quite good under pressure with a sound technique. To win it in one visit was very pleasing. It’s been a great week for me and my family. Hopefully I can give them something else to cheer about tomorrow.
“I have been a top 16 player for a couple of years so I feel like I deserve my right to be in this tournament. I’m not just here to make up the numbers, I’m here to lift the trophy, which would mean absolutely everything to me. I promised my mum I’d get it for her dining room table!
“It’s nice that three out of the four lads in the semi-finals are of the younger generation, which is good for snooker. The Triple Crown events are the ones the players turn out for. The whole world stops to watch them.”
Trump said: “It’s disappointing. I think I was the better player, it’s tough to take. Kyren got away with missing balls in every single frame. When someone gets away with so many shots you’ve got to take a chance because you can’t rely on him giving you an easy chance, so I wanted to grab the match by the scruff of the neck.
“When it’s not your day it’s not your day. When you know the run is like that then it might be Kyren’s week.”