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Wilson: fans back in snooker halls will feel like playing at Wembley!

Sportsbeat
·3-min read
Wilson struck a brilliant 147 break in his first round match - but knows it would have been even more special in front of fans
Wilson struck a brilliant 147 break in his first round match - but knows it would have been even more special in front of fans

Kyren Wilson is knocking in breaks like Harry Kane bangs in goals – and the Kettering star reckons the return of fans to snooker halls will feel like he’s playing at Wembley, writes Will Jennings.

Wilson, who lit up the UK Championship with a thrilling maximum 147 break in the first round, eased into the last 32 after a 6-2 victory against world No.59 Mark Joyce in Milton Keynes.

The Triple Crown tournament looks set to be one of the final events of the season to be held at a behind closed doors Marshall Arena, with the news January’s Masters will be held in front of fans – up to 1,000 per session – being met with widespread support from the game’s top players.

The world No.4 is relishing a return to a raucous Alexandra Palace and hopes to make the baize his own hallowed turf at the second major of the season.

Asked on his thoughts of the return of fans to snooker halls, the 28-year-old said: “It’ll feel like playing at Wembley with a football stadium, that’s how it will feel!

“It’s amazing and I’d so chuffed that that’s going to happen. It really gives us something as snooker players to look forward to. And as snooker fans, what a great opportunity to come and watch some amazing snooker.

“The Ally Pally is an amazing venue and probably one of my favourites. It’s a real, real classy setup and I hope that we can have a similar setup to last season because the guys at World Snooker did an amazing job, with the sofas, and the bar at the top.

“I don’t know what the restrictions will be around those but I’m delighted we’re going to have a crowd to play in front of.

“It was a really solid performance [today] – I think my all-round game was very strong and I made a couple of really crucial counter clearances. I’m really pleased with that performance.”

Wilson reached the World Championship final in the summer and is carrying on where he left off on the 2020-21 season.

The four-time ranking event winner rolled in visits of 97, 82, 62 and 51 to floor his opponent and book a third round clash against Kurt Maflin on Tuesday.

The Northamptonshire star is yet to scoop his first Triple Crown title but reckons a repeat of his Championship League triumph at the end of last month is well on the cards.

“I always believe I’m going to be one of the top contenders, and I always fancy trying to win any event I play in,” he added.

“It’s just about turning up and getting the job done – it’s not always as easy as that, and you have to stay in the moment and make sure you take your chances when they present themselves.

“I feel like I’ve managed to do that so far this season.”

Watch the UK Championship LIVE on Eurosport and Eurosport app. Follow all the latest tournament news on Eurosport.co.uk