A ‘TERRIBLE’ season may have ended in a first-round World Snooker Championship exit for Gary Wilson but he finally believes the green shoots of recovery are starting to show, writes Luke Baker.
Wilson made just one last-16 appearance in a ranking event during the campaign – a far cry from the player who reached the semi-finals at the Worlds back in 2019 – but did at least reach the Crucible Theatre once more by beating Gerard Greene and Steven Hallworth in qualifying.
Last year’s World Championship finalist Kyren Wilson ultimately proved a bridge too far for the Wallsend potter in the first round, as a back-and-forth encounter ended 10-8.
Gary Wilson led 5-1 but missed opportunities stopped him extending that advantage and his opponent fought back to triumph in a high-quality encounter that saw three centuries and 13 further half-century breaks between the players.
“Kyren played well but I chucked away too many frames – he’s too solid to do that against,” admitted Wilson. “A few too many easy balls missed and that made the difference.
“I fought at the end and didn’t do too much wrong but Kyren pulled away because he’s a class player. I should’ve been further ahead after ten frames, so it’s a little bit of a missed opportunity.
“My season has been terrible – it’s been the worst season ever. It was nice to qualify for this and I’m starting to find something a little bit in my game.
“I finished the season on a little bit of a high, in my own head – it’s not all doom and gloom.
“I can think a little bit more positively about my game now than I could a few months ago and know that unless I’m playing players like Kyren day in and day out, I’m capable of winning games and scoring heavily.”
The World Championship marks the end of the snooker season and while it’s been one to forget for Wilson, he’s hoping for better come the next campaign.
By his own admission, he hasn’t capitalised on his run to the semi-finals at the Crucible two years ago – which put him on the verge of entering the elite top 16 in the world rankings – but hope springs eternal.
“I’m trying to push on and be better than I’ve been,” Wilson added. “It’s not greed, it’s ambition – I’ve had ambition since I started playing the game and I’m not fulfilling that in my own head.
“It’s frustrating – I got to the semis of the Crucible two years ago and what have I done since then? Nothing really.
“I had so many opportunities to get into the top 16 off the back of that but played terribly and kept missing them. I want to be pushing on now.”
Watch the World Snooker Championship live on Eurosport and Eurosport app from April 17- May 3