07 May 2024

We’ve sacrificed everything – emotional Kyren Wilson wins world snooker title

07 May 2024

Kyren Wilson turned his first world snooker title into a family affair after withstanding a stirring fightback from qualifier Jak Jones to triumph 18-14 at the Crucible.

Wilson emerged from his most difficult year in a decade to lift the famous silver trophy with his wife Sophie and young sons Bailey and Finley looking on.

The 12th seed had reached a solitary semi-final at the German Masters this year, but it was put in sharp perspective by his wife being diagnosed with epilepsy, while Bailey suffered with illness and also needed an operation on a broken nose.

“It was so nice to have all the family there and let out our emotions,” said Wilson, who celebrated his match-winning break with a roar of delight and struggled to contain his emotions as the magnitude of his success began to dawn.

“We’ve been on a rollercoaster journey since the age of six. We’ve sacrificed everything all together and this is just a lovely thing to be able to celebrate with them now.”

Wilson was made to work overtime against Jones, who had looked down and out after losing the first seven frames of the match but staged a remarkable comeback and twice reduced the deficit to three frames during a rousing afternoon session.

After sharing the first two frames of the evening, a dramatic 28th saw Jones, who sunk seeds Zhang Anda and Judd Trump on his marathon route to the final, clear the colours to force a re-spotted black, only for Wilson to move one frame away with an audacious pot off three cushions.

But Jones proved far from beaten, ensuring a mid-session interval by taking the next with a break of 67, followed by a break of 96 that briefly threatened a maximum and a flamboyant clearance to pink in the next to leave Wilson with plenty to think about.

It was some revival from Jones, whose first target upon the start of the final day had been simply to avoid the indignity of becoming only the third player, after Jimmy White in 1993 and John Parrott in 1989, to lose the world final with a session to spare.

Jones had further chances to pull back within two, but Wilson kept his nerve and turned his sights on capitalising on his victory by going on to join some of the greats of the game.

“I believe I can be a multiple world champion and I’d be disappointed if I only landed one,” added Wilson. “But that first one has got to be the hardest. I’ve got it off my back and no-one can take that away from me.”

Jones, who was aiming to become only the third qualifier to win the title in the Crucible era, insisted he never lost hope of fashioning what would have been the greatest comeback on the final day of the tournament.

I believe I can be a multiple world champion and I'd be disappointed if I only landed one. But that first one has got to be the hardest

“I think if I’d won one more, at 17-15 he could have really started twitching, and I had couple of little chances, but he held himself together well in the end,” said Jones.

“I just gave myself too much to do in the first session, but Kyren came out flying in the first session so he deserves it.

“I’m proud because I don’t feel like I’ve played well here at all. I’ve played my B game and my C game to beat some of the best players in the world and get to the final, so to come so close to winning it should give me a lot of confidence going forward.”

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