Stephen Hendry confused by ‘strange’ Kyren Wilson claim during Crucible final

Kyren Wilson is still in a dominant position in the Crucible final (Picture: Getty Images)

Kyren Wilson’s aim of getting to 11 frames on Sunday night in the World Snooker Championship final confused Stephen Hendry, saying the target was a ‘strange’ one after such a good start to the game.

The Warrior had a near-perfect opening session against Jak Jones at the Crucible, leading 7-1 after the afternoon session on Sunday.

To the Welshman’s credit he was far more competitive in the evening and finished the night only 11-6 behind after a dramatic nine frames in Sheffield.

Wilson pinched the last frame of the session on the black after needing a snooker, which felt like a huge moment as it gave him a five-frame lead rather than three.

A relieved 32-year-old briefly spoke to the BBC after the evening session, saying: ‘I’m proud of the way I held it together.

‘I sort of had it in my head I wanted to get to 11 tonight after being on seven, so it was just a little small target. Obviously target achieved.’

Seven-time world champion Hendry was not sure why Wilson would only be aiming to win four of the nine frames on Sunday evening, saying that if he had opened up such a big lead in the afternoon he would have been targeting something similar in the next session.

Jak Jones battled back impressively on Sunday night (Picture: Getty Images)

‘Strange one for me,’ said Hendry. ‘If you’re 7-1 up, why do you want to lose the next session and be only on 11? If I’m 7-1 up I want to press ahead and win the match as quickly as possible.

‘But before the start of day you’d definitely take the score, without a doubt. But having a 7-1 lead I’d be wanting to keep my foot hard on the pedal. But he’ll be delighted with winning that last frame.’

Hendry felt the brilliant last frame was pivotal in the match, with the painful loss of it likely to end Jones’ chances of a remarkable comeback.

‘I tend to think that might be his World Championship gone, losing that frame,’ said the Scot. ‘A five-frame lead going into day two is big. But he’s won this session, he can win another one.’

Stephen Hendry won seven world titles from 1990-99 (Picture: Getty Images)

Hendry did give full credit to the world number 44 for bouncing back from a morale-sapping first session and feels there is still some hope for him if he can start Monday afternoon impressively.

‘Stunning. That’s more impressive than anything he’s done in the championship so far, tonight,’ Hendry said of Jones on Sunday evening. ‘To even bring this ginal alive, to make it a final, because it was dead after the afternoon session, to be honest.

‘But he’s brought it alive and wow, the first two frames tomorrow afternoon are monster frames. If he loses them it’s all over so he’s got to get like a coiled spring tomorrow afternoon and win those first two frames.’

The final two sessions of the 2024 World Snooker Championship are played at 1pm and 7pm on Monday.


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Jak Jones battles back against Kyren Wilson into Crucible final contention


MORE : Jak Jones baffled by ‘pathetic excuses’ of World Snooker Championship opponents

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