Apr 21

Kyren Wilson - Thriving on the Big Stage

There’s always been an unwavering self-belief about Kyren Wilson – and this is only heightened when we arrive in Sheffield.

The Warrior is back for his tenth Crucible appearance and knows that despite not enjoying his best season on the baize, he has what it takes to produce his best on the big stage.

 “I don’t know what it is, but I just suit this format,” he told Snooker System. “It suits me as a person. I’m just strong willed, not much fazes me and over a long distance I’m quite a tough person to beat.

“I get inspired when I come here. I love playing here and I love being a part of the World Championship itself. There's a buzz about the place.”

Kyren’s Crucible pedigree is clear for all to see. He has only lost in the first round of the World Championship once and that was on his debut in 2014. Since then, he has made eight consecutive appearances including three runs to the quarter-finals, twice reaching the last four and of course famously making the final in 2020.

With a record like this, he is right to back himself in the biggest tournament of them all.

“In terms of results, it’s not been a brilliant season but my scoring figures are there. I am second on the centuries list and I think in the modern era if your scoring is there, you can give yourself a chance.

“Ultimately, I know that this tournament suits my game. Your season and the year you’ve had goes out of the window because experience speaks volumes in this tournament.”

It takes a strong character to stand up to everything that comes with the World Championship. As you speak to Kyren, it’s clear that his ability to embrace all aspects of the event sets him in good stead.

“I always get very excited – you see all the signs for the World Championship as you approach Sheffield and then butterflies start to kick in,” said the world number 12.

“It always feels like there are extra eyes on this tournament. You get recognised more in the street and more people send you a text wishing you good luck. It just shows what a special tournament it is.

“If I enjoy my environment and feel like I'm being appreciated, that brings the best out of me."

The dream to become world champion came closest four years ago when he was beaten in the final by Ronnie O’Sullivan as he notched up the sixth of his seven world titles – but the dream and the desire hasn’t faded.

“I was playing the greatest player of all time, I’d had a fantastic tournament and obviously my dream was there. I felt so close to it yet so far away but you don’t give up on it. If I can keep knocking at the door, I believe it’ll open.

“When you walk round backstage, you see all the pictures of the past champions and some of the iconic memories and you visualise it being you, but you can’t chase it too much and get too wrapped up in it either.”

Kyren begins his World Championship campaign against Dominic Dale on Tuesday in the 10am session.

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