Kyren Wilson admits it’s family first, snooker second – but believes a prestigious Triple Crown title is just around the corner, writes Will Jennings.
The beaten World Championship finalist got up and running at the Northern Ireland Open after easing past world No.88 David Lilley 4-0 in Milton Keynes.
Wilson, ranked 83 places above his opponent, lost to six-time king of the Crucible Ronnie O’Sullivan in this year’s Sheffield final but recently romped to Championship League glory after beating world No.1 Judd Trump.
Snooker is far from the 28-year-old’s top priority but when asked if a Triple Crown triumph – the World Championship, Masters and UK Championship – is only a matter of time the four-time ranking event winner said: “Yes. Yes, I think so.
“You can’t put too much pressure on yourself and I don’t want to put pressure on myself – I want to enjoy it.
“The game has started to consume me again, and my family’s more important than this game. I just want to enjoy it and if I don’t win them, I don’t win them.
“What my manager [Brandon Parker], who recently passed away, taught me is that when it’s your time, it’s your time and you can’t force it.
“Taking the trophy home, no matter what trophy it is, is awesome. I’ve set targets this season and one of them was to convert a final and obviously I’m pleased it was early on in the year. We’ve got some big tournaments coming up so I would obviously like to add to that.”
Wilson struck breaks of 75 and 71 – twice – to breeze past Lilley and keep his hopes of a maiden Home Nations title alive at the Marshall Arena.
The Kettering star has come under fire his lack of cue ball control in the past, despite his prolific break-building seeing him boast a reputation as one of the game’s finest scorers.
Wilson says he’s rubbished cue ball criticism by reaching the Crucible final and hopes maximising his scoring power can help him topple the trio of Trump, O’Sullivan and world No.3 Neil Robertson.
“I want to set myself a few targets and I want to start upping my century tally,” he added.
“I think I’m probably one of the heavier scorers but I would like to score even heavier. The best of the best, the Judds, Neils and Ronnies, are scoring for fun so to compete with them you need to try and convert the centuries.
“I’ve worked really hard on it [my cue ball] and it’s become something that people were focusing on from the past. They weren’t giving me credit on how much it’s improved. I can see the difference and I feel like my cue ball is a lot tighter. You don’t get to a world final if your cue ball is terrible!”