Kyren Wilson is still trying to develop as a player by learning from his rivals, including his opponent in the first round of The Masters, Judd Trump.
The 32-year-old is a five-time ranking event winner and ranked number nine in the world, but it has not been a great season for him so far, with just one quarter-final run to his name.
Always working hard and ambitious for success, the Warrior is not afraid to admit that he is trying to pinch qualities from other players at the top of the game, including Trump.
The pair meet at Alexandra Palace on Tuesday with the Ace having won three ranking titles this season already, so it is no bad idea to try and replicate some of his success.
‘I’m trying to learn from how he’s gone about his business,’ Wilson told Metro.co.uk of Trump. ‘In the last few years he’s turned into a different player, a different winner. I’m sure he’d say that himself, he wasn’t as prolific as he is now.
‘So I’m just trying to find out how he’s gone about that, trying to pick up bits of information from different players on how they’re doing things. But also trying to learn things about myself.
‘I feel like I’m going into venues now feeling so much more relaxed and settled, just because of experience and you’ve got to keep building on that.’
Trump is clear at the top of the one-year list thanks to his hat-trick of titles, but asked if he is relishing the task of downing the defending champion at The Masters, Wilson was clear.
‘Without a doubt,’ he said. ‘Defending champion, there’ll be a lot of noise around Judd. He did great in winning it last year.
‘We’ve had some good matches there. I think we’re one-each. He’s the player-of-the-season, so on paper it might be the toughest draw I could have had but when you drop into the bottom eight bracket you’re bound to draw an elite player, so no surprise.’
The Kettering cueman’s results may not have been eye-catching this season, but his attire has been, sporting a glove for much of the campaign so far.
It might not be on display at Ally Pally as it was brought out to combat sticky conditions in hot weather, but the Warrior will bring it out again when he needs it.
‘It was a combination of Nuremburg [the European Masters] and Shanghai [Masters],’ he said. ‘I found the conditions so poor, I’d been flying in practice but then felt I couldn’t physically push the cue past my thumb because it was so sticky.
‘I thought about how I could reduce the variables. You see 9-ball players and snooker players in China wearing them, so I thought I’d give it a go and played really well in the International Championship qualifier.
‘As the weather cools down I think the conditions improve so I’ve not really felt the need to use it. But if they’re poor again I’ll get it back out.’
On the stick he has received for donning the handwear, he said: ‘It’s narrow-minded. I played with it at Ding’s academy against Pang Junxu before the UK Championship and had two maximums and a 140 in four frames. It felt like such a consistent rhythm to my cue action, it was amazing really.
‘It’s just narrow-mindedness of people to think it’s different. But it makes sense because the variables will be less.’
Despite deep runs proving hard to come by so far this season, Wilson is not too worried, remarkably scoring more centuries than anyone but Trump so far this campaign.
‘I’ve been tinkering a little bit this season, that’s probably the main thing, but at the same time I’ve been playing some good stuff,’ he said. ‘I’m near the top of the highest century-makers this year, when you think I’m not in the top 32 on the one-year list, I’m not actually that far off being in the top 10, just a frame here or there. You lose the odd game and it can spiral.
‘I know that I’m scoring really well, my game is there. I see snooker as a bit of a merry-go-round, you’ve got to wait your turn to jump on and make the most of it. I’m going to keep working hard, keep trying and hopefully the turn of the year can be more fruitful.
‘I’ve been one of the most consistent players in recent years, it’s not the end of the world having a bit of a blip, it’s not that my standard isn’t there, I just haven’t got the momentum with some wins.’
A Masters finalist, a World Championship finalist and UK Championship semi-finalist, Wilson is still hunting down his first Triple Crown title and does not feel that it is far away.
‘Without doubt, I always feel like it’s close,’ he said. ‘I feel like my scoring power is up there with the best of them now. I think that’s the most important part of the modern era.
‘If you’re scoring heavy you’re always going to be hard to beat. As long as those numbers keep racking up I always give myself a chance.’
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