Wilson reached the last 16 of just one ranking event last season
Kyren Wilson’s amazing run at the Bank of Communications OTO Shanghai Masters continued as he thrashed Mark Allen 6-1 to reach the final.
Kettering’s promising 23-year-old Wilson had never previously been beyond the quarter-finals of a ranking event, but is enjoying the best week of his snooker career so far and is now just one win away from his first pro title. He will battle Judd Trump over 19 frames on Sunday for the £85,000 top prize.
Trump is bound to start favourite for the crown, but having beaten Joe Perry, Michael Holt, Ding Junhui and Allen this week, world number 54 Wilson has nothing to fear.
It’s the second consecutive ranking event in China to feature a player outside the world’s top 50, following Gary Wilson’s run at the China Open in April.
A tight opening frame today went Wilson’s way as he cleared from blue to black, and that clearly boosted his confidence as he stormed into a 5-0 lead with top breaks of 73, 68 and 60. Allen, runner-up here last year, won the next, but there was to be no fight-back as Wilson kept calm to seal victory in frame seven with a run of 50.
“It’s absolutely amazing to be in the final of such a prestigious tournament,” said Wilson, who only secured the necessary visa on the day he flew to Shanghai last week. “I’ve had a very tough draw so it means all the more to me. I can’t wait for tomorrow. I had to play good match snooker today and even at 5-0 I knew it wasn’t over. The scoreline could have been closer.”
Wilson’s partner Sophie gave birth to their first child in February. He added: “I miss them a lot but thinking about them when I play drives me on. Being a father has given me a kick up the backside because I was a bit immature before.”
Allen said: “That sums up the way I have played all week – I was lucky to be in the semi-finals. I really struggled today and Kyren looked more comfortable. He’ll need to play better tomorrow and I wish him all the best. It would be good to see a new young face winning tournaments.”