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Still LIVING the dream…

“It’s not whether you get knocked down; it’s whether you get up.” Vince Lombardi.

 

Warrior Kyren Wilson appeared in his first maiden World Championship final over the weekend, as the 2020 BetFred World Championship came to an end.

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Wilson has now appeared in two major finals. The Masters and the World Championship final.

It had been 17 days of tears, sweat, and joy as 32 players battled on the baize with no crowds, apart from day one and days 16 and 17, but it still gave us some dramatic moments.

For 28-year-old Kyren, reaching his maiden World final was a significant achievement as the semi-final against Scotland’s Anthony McGill was a draining and tense affair.

That match turned out to be a Crucible classic with a deciding last frame that saw both McGill and Wilson make mistakes and, according to McGill at the end, the snooker gods had stolen it from him.

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up to 300 lucky souls got to see Ronnie O’Sullivan lift his sixth World title and 37th ranking title at The Crucible.

Going into the final, Wilson was up against the best player to ever hold a cue in Ronnie O’Sullivan. He was on for his sixth World Championship title to equal Steve Davis and Ray Reardon.

The first session saw the 44-year-old Rocket race into a 6 – 2 lead but in the second session, as both men looked tired and drained from their epic semi-final matches. Ronnie looked the more tired as the Warrior battled in the second session to reduce his arrears to just three frames to a 10 – 7 overnight trail.

But in the third session, it appeared both men had had good night rests and O’Sullivan, who had been complaining he couldn’t get a cue action, seemed to up the gears as he won the session 7 – 1, to go 17 – 8 needing just one to become World Champion for the sixth time.

A break of 96 in the evening session for the Rocket sealed the deal for the win.

O’Sullivan said after:  “I was happy to get one world title at one stage. Once I got to four I knew I could call myself one of the greats, because that’s how many times John Higgins had won it. Anything above that and you are in fantastic company.

 

One thing I have got is longevity. I go in and out of form and my mind can wander sometimes. Then I get a bit of a taste for it again and want to see if I’ve still got it, so I try to have a go at it as I have done in this tournament.

 

When you practice for five or six hours a day it’s because you want to know whether you are hitting it straight enough to stand up under pressure.”

O’Sullivan said Kyren is a top top player and he will be standing here at some point as a winner. He also said he was ahead of his generation of players.

He added: “Not to put too much pressure on him.”

For 27 years, O’Sullivan has been entertaining and dazzling audiences with his incredible skills on a snooker table and 1997 is still a memorable year for fans who watched him compile the fastest maximum break in snooker history at 5 mins 20 seconds (now revised to 5 mins 8 second).

In 2001 he won his first and now, 19 years after, he’s won his sixth. An incredible feat of longevity at 44.

Pundits such as Steve Davis, whom Ronnie now has the same amount of titles as said it was now possible for Ronnie to go on – if he so wants to and win a seventh World title to equal Stephen Hendry.

Last season, he made more by being the first player to achieve 1000 centuries.

Wilson said after it was a dream come true, and added: “I’m not going to beat myself up too much. It was a dream come true to play Ronnie in the final. I really struggled in the first session yesterday. We both had a bit of a hangover from the semi-finals. I’m a fighter. I tried to just relax, let the shackles off and go for it.”

O’Sullivan pocketed 500K and is now back to World no 2.

2019 World Champion Judd Trump, who was knocked out by Kyren Wilson in the quarter-finals is still World no 1.

But for Wilson, he can take heed of this…

As the song by Chumbawumba says: “I get knocked down, but I get up again. you are never going to keep me down.”

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Kyren Wilson Responds in Twitter Snooker Spat

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Champion of Champions runner-up Kyren Wilson has responded to calls there should have been a day’s grace before traveling from Coventry to Belfast and playing in the northern Ireland Open the next day.

Wilson, who lost to Ronnie O’Sullivan responded in a tweet and said he did think his game on Monday night, in which he lost to Lee Walker should have been moved to Tuesday minimum, but, for whatever reason, it wasn’t.

However, the 26-year-old from Kettering, added: “OK, I’m 26, but what this game takes out of you mentally is draining!”

He also said that now was a good a time as any to become a snooker player – singing Barry Hearn’s praises but said there were a few issues that needed ironing out.

The tweet came after Ronnie O’Sullivan had a rant on Twitter about the game and the state of it, regarding venues, prize money, and the World Snooker chief himself Barry Hearn.

O’Sullivan, who won his third Champion of Champions title last weekend, narrowly beating Wilson in the final 10 – 9, pocketed 100K in 7 days at the Ricoh Arena in Coventry.

The furore comes as a string of top players departed the Northern Irish Open early, including Barry Hawkins, Mark Allen and Kyren Wilson, all who played last week in Coventry.

Four-times World Champion John Higgins also exited Belfast after losing to Rory McLeod who looked a little jaded.

The season comes thick and fast this time of year as there are competitions right up until Christmas, including the NI Open, the UK Championship and the Scottish Open.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Top Pro Graeme Dott Quizzed in Snooker Fans Group on Facebook

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Scottish professional Graeme Dott took time out of his hectic schedule on the professional circuit to be quizzed by some fans in the popular Facebook fan group Snooker Fans.

The group has around 43K members and Dott answered a variety of questions, including, what more needs to be done to get more children (and adults) playing snooker in the UK.

Dott wrote:

The clubs need snooker minded people running clubs and run Pro-Ams because the amateurs and the youngsters need more diverse competition. But I realize they need to earn money too.”

He added: “The WPBSA needs to do a lot more too.”

The former 2006 World Champion also said that he thought the money currently being spent on the new World Seniors tour could have been better spent on grassroots snooker.

Dott added further: “Local associations have to get together for the good of the game before it’s too late and put pressure on the WPBSA to work on the amateur game in the whole country, otherwise, we won’t see a home player in the top 16 soon!”

Other questions included views on form and also who he was currently working with. Dott said at one stage he had even thought of packing it in. But is now working with the coach Chris Henry, who was one of the commentators who commentated on the Paul Hunter Classic between Peter Ebdon and Kyren Wilson.

He added: “I was awful, but Chris has turned that around.”

Controversially, being a snooker player, Dott told fans that he didn’t think cuesports of any kind should be classed as Olympic sports.

He wrote: There are many events that don’t merit it. I see Olympic events as Athletics and endurance!”

Currently, this week sees the richest invitational in the professional calendar, the Shanghai Masters, where the winner will pick up 200K as the first prize.

Ronnie O’Sullivan begins his 2018/19 campaign in earnest this week in China at the event as a defending Champion.

Kyren Wilson, fresh from his emphatic win in Bangkok against DIng Junhui in the World Sx Reds final 8 – 4, is now a proven winner and has already in the last three weeks, trousered 102K in prize money.

Wilson won the ranking version of the Shanghai event in 2015, his first ranking title.

You can read SnookerZone’s review of Graeme Dott’s autobiography, here…

Not read Graeme Dott’s autobiography Frame of Mind all about his battles on and off the baize? You can get it here…