Gary Wilson hopes to gather momentum in the coming months and continue his rise up the world ranking list.
The 28-year-old from Wallsend enjoyed a tremendous start to last season, and though he lost impetus in the second half of the campaign, he is now into the world’s top 64, and believes he can get into the top 50 in 2014/15.
Wilson looked like one of snooker’s hottest young prospects when he won the World Under-21 Championship back in 2004. But his first spell on the main tour lasted just two seasons and was followed by a few years on the amateur circuit. He finally regained his pro status thanks to his results in PTC events in 2012/13, and last season was the best of his career.
He reached the last 16 of a ranking event for the first time at the Indian Open, beating the likes of Marco Fu and Dominic Dale, and also got to the semi-finals of the Rotterdam Open before being edged out 4-3 by Mark Williams.
“I also made a 147 in the German Masters qualifiers which was the first of my career, and won a couple of matches at the UK Championship which gave me a moment in the spotlight,” said Wilson. “Overall I felt I was playing some really good snooker. Then in my last match before Christmas, I lost 5-4 to David Gilbert, and although I didn’t play badly, it set me back a bit. We had three or four weeks before the next tournament, and when we started again I didn’t feel as good.
“Ever since then I have struggled to regain that form. I have still been winning a few matches, but nowhere near as many, and I lost a couple of important qualifying matches for the China Open and World Championship.
“So far this season I have done ok, winning one match in each of Wuxi and Australia, but I’m just waiting to get back to the way I was before Christmas. We’ve got a few weeks now before the next tournament in Latvia but hopefully once we start again I can kick on.
“I’ve just got into the top 64 and I’ve got nothing to come off my total on the money list this season, everything I earn is adding to it. I want to get up into the 40s rather than just thinking about staying in the 64 and keeping my tour card by the skin of my teeth.”
Wilson, whose main practice partner is Elliott Slessor, was working part-time as a taxi driver in Newcastle until January but has now given that up to focus completely on snooker. “It’s ironic that since then my results have got worse,” he said. “But I’m not worried at all because I know it’s the right thing to do to give myself the chance to concentrate 100 per cent on snooker, and I know the results will come.”
Wilson enjoyed a holiday in Las Vegas in May with girlfriend Robyn, staying at the Mandalay Bay hotel on the famous Strip. “It was a brilliant experience, especially as I’d never been to the USA before,” he added. “There was a group of 15 or 20 of us and I had to come home a couple of days early because of the Wuxi qualifiers, but it was still a great trip.”