2018 Billiards World Champion and Arjuna awardee Sourav Kothari is writing a series of special reports on the ongoing World Snooker Championship in Sheffield, England exclusively for Times of India.
This is his latest article summarising the highlights of the quarter-final matches:
On more accounts than one, Kyren Wilson is a righteous ambassador for the noble sport of snooker. A man with courtly demeanour off the table but ruthless and unflappable while at play, the 28-year-old Englishman has emerged as one of the most formidable opponents in the professional snooker circuit.
On Tuesday evening, he corroborated his nickname, “The Warrior” by putting up a valiant show to oust defending champion and pre-tournament favourite Judd Trump 13-9. An ominous comeback by Trump in the dying stages of the encounter failed to rattle Wilson who wrapped up the match in style with a break of 104 to take a crack at his second World Championship semi-final in three years.
Going into the match with eight wins in their thirteen previous meetings, Kyren was unfazed by the reputation of Trump being the defending world champion, current world no. 1 and the most successful player of the 2019-20 season.
In an interview with World Snooker, Kyren evocatively says, “There is no better buzz for me when I’m flying, when I’m making centuries or getting the crowd cheering, appreciating the shots that you’re making and that’s why I love what I do for a living”.
Having committed himself totally to the sport with unflinching dedication, Kyren has hitched his wagon to the stars. Who knows, this could be the year he fulfils his dream of becoming world champion.
Three times Crucible king Mark Selby buried his demons on the back of his stellar 13-7 win against world no. 2 Neil Robertson to secure a place in the semi-final at the Crucible after a gap 2 years.
From being one of the most successful players on the tour to facing a sustained crisis of confidence by his own admission in the last 18 months, Selby surely has got the monkey off his back.
Speaking of his performance, Selby made no bones about the fact that the prolonged rough patch left him doubting himself and being able to finally get his act together at snooker’s biggest stage meant the world to him.
The semi-final will be played over best of 33 frames between Mark Selby & Ronnie O’Sullivan and Kyren Wilson and Anthony McGill.
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