02242018

Wilson edges Trump to reach Masters final

Kyren Wilson

Kyren Wilson made his debut at the Masters in 2017, losing to Ding Junhui in the opening round

England’s Kyren Wilson produced one of the great comebacks in Masters history to beat world number three Judd Trump 6-5 and book a place in Sunday’s final.

A packed Alexandra Palace was set to celebrate a comfortable win for Trump after breaks of 83, 96 and 69 saw him take a 5-2 lead.

But errors crept into his game while the Kettering-born 26-year-old grew in confidence to reduce the gap to 5-4.

A brilliant 107 made it 5-5 and Wilson came out on top in a tense decider.

Wilson will play either Scottish two-time champion John Higgins or Northern Ireland’s Mark Allen, who meet in the other semi-final on Saturday evening.

Wilson said he was stirred by the three comebacks produced by Paul Hunter in previous Masters finals. Hunter, who died from cancer in 2006, won the title in 2001, 2002 and 2004.

“I said to my manager and coach in the interval even if it turned out to be 6-1 I’d fight to the end,” he told BBC Radio 5 live.

“It’s one of those competitions where a lot of comebacks have happened over the years – the late great Paul Hunter, I’d like to think I drew a little bit of inspiration from that.

“People call me ‘The Warrior’ but I felt I’d not had a comeback in ages.”

Asked about his possible final opponents, Wilson said: “John is fantastic player and is one of my boyhood heroes. I’d like to have had a better match in the Crucible quarter-final against him [last year] but my tip split.

“And regarding Mark, it’d be great to have the young guys in the final. He’s one of the most consistent players – I like to play him because he brings out the best in me.”

Trump said his defeat was “tough to take” and that he was the “better player”.

“When it’s not your day, it’s not your day,” he said.

Wilson defies the odds to wow Ally Pally

It looked a thankless task for Wilson at 5-2 down. Bar a break of 81 in the fifth frame he looked well short of the form that brought him victories over Crucible finalist Barry Hawkins and two-time world champion Mark Williams.

In Trump he found a player hitting peak form. The Bristolian took the opening frame, before Wilson won the second, which included a stunning shot from the final red to yellow tight near the top cushion.

However, an error on a mid-range red in the third frame allowed Trump in for a frame-winning 83.

Another mistake in the next frame, this time with the rest after making 30, left him 3-1 down at the interval.

Wilson hit back with an 81 after the break to reduce the deficit to 3-2, but Trump responded with breaks of 96 and 69 to take him to within one frame of victory.

The 2011 UK champion began to falter though and Wilson took the eighth and then the ninth after his opponent played a poor safety which left a tempting red.

The one and only century of the match was timed impeccably by Wilson as he drew level.

Trump had the first chance in the decider but broke down on 23 and Wilson, whose only major title came in Shanghai in 2015, produced an outstanding 72 to seal a remarkable victory.

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