Kyren Wilson on ‘mad’ season, Dominic Dale resurgence and Sheffield love

Kyren Wilson has fond memories of the Crucible (Picture: Getty Images)

Kyren Wilson is flying under the radar as he arrives at the World Snooker Championship this year after a season that is hard to explain, as he says: ‘It’s mad, it doesn’t add up.’

The Warrior has made one semi-final and a couple of quarters, so it is not like he has dropped off a cliff, but failing to qualify for the World Grand Prix, Players Championship and Tour Championship represents a poor campaign so far for him.

However, a glance at the stats shows that the 32-year-old has scored a huge 61 centuries this season, second only to Judd Trump on that count.

Clearly the scoring side of his game is in fine fettle and he can hardly believe that results have not come with it, but feels that shows how little bits of bad luck here and there can be fatal.

‘It’s mad, it doesn’t add up. I keep looking at it and thinking, what’s that? It’s like someone has put the numbers in wrong,’ Wilson told Metro.

‘It’s been a strange year, it’s just little bits of ball run that’s turned it. It’s crazy little strange things, but I’m quite patient, I believe it’s a bit of a cycle and your turn will come back round. The beauty of this tournament is the long format, so there are swings and roundabouts.

‘I know it’s coming back because my scoring is there, it’s about maintaining it and riding bits of luck. This tournament is about 17 days of magic, you don’t need a year of magic to win this tournament. Everyone has a chance.’

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Wilson arrives at the Crucible as world number 12 (Picture: Getty Images)

The five-time ranking event winner has been touted as a possible Crucible champion in recent years but is not really being spoken about as a contender this year, which is no bad thing, in his eyes.

‘It’s nice to go under the radar sometimes, that’s how my junior career always went,’ he said. ‘I was never mentioned, it was always different names ahead of me and I’d end up walking away with the trophy.

‘Hopefully I can replicate my junior days and maybe take a few people by surprise this year. The main thing for me this year is my scoring power is still there. As long as you’re scoring you always give yourself a chance.’

Wilson has been handed a very interesting draw in Dominic Dale for his Crucible opener, as the 52-year-old returns to the Sheffield theatre for the first time in 10 years.

The seeded man is a clear favourite to progress, but Wilson expects a very good challenge from the veteran.

Dominic Dale has enjoyed a return to form this year (Picture: Getty Images)

‘Tough draw,’ he said. ‘A resurgence of form this year, he’s really had a good season and I know he’s admitted that he’s put more time in. I know he’s done a lot of broadcasting and commentary but he’s dedicated a bit more time to practice. No surprise he’s qualified, it’s going to be a tough test.

‘When you’ve grown up playing the likes of Mark Williams, Ronnie, John Higgins, for all those years you’ve had to battle against those guys and he’s done well for himself.

‘Very experienced campaigner. Knows what the Crucible is all about so won’t be daunted by that. He seems to love the big occasions, he’s a bit of a showman. He’s a good character, I like Dom.’

Talk of the Crucible’s future has been a running theme at this year’s World Championship but Wilson is very much in the camp of wanting the event to stay where it is.

‘I get why people are saying go elsewhere for more prize money and to get more fans in, but I think it will lose its appeal a little bit,’ he said. ‘I think the tightness, the compactness, the edginess of the Crucible, I think that adds to the test of being a world champion. I hope it stays.

‘Even being back stage, just peering through the door and seeing the table is mega. Always good being here, it’s my favourite tournament and one of my favourite cities.’

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