Kyren Wilson beat Mark Allen in a deciding frame yesterday, to book his p)lace in the Final. He will play Ronnie over a best of 19 today in Coventry.
Kyren Wilson ended Mark Allen’s hopes of winning back-to-back titles, taking an exciting match 6-5 to reach the final of the ManBetX Champion of Champions.
Allen won last week’s International Championship in China but his streak was ended in a high quality contest which featured two centuries and nine more breaks over 50. Wilson goes through to face Ronnie O’Sullivan in Coventry on Sunday, with first to ten frames to take the £100,000 top prize.
World number nine Wilson will be seeking his third title of the season having won the Paul Hunter Classic and Six Red World Championship.
The first six frames tonight were shared, Allen making breaks of 99, 99 and 109 while Wilson fired in 63, 57 and 98. Kettering’s 26-year-old Wilson then enjoyed runs of 66 and 125 as he pulled 5-3 ahead, only for Allen to take the next two with 53 and 72.
In the decider, Wilson had first chance and made 30 before running out of position, then laid a tough snooker behind the yellow, and from the chance that followed he made a match-winning 86.
Mark Allen was made favourite by all the pundits (and myself) based on the way he played in Daqing and in the group stage in Coventry. Yesterday, however, he made more mistakes and his long potting wasn’t as reliable as he needed to be. It’s hard to know why this happened; maybe nothing at all as players are just human and every day is different. But maybe – only maybe – he put too much pressure on himself, as he has done sometimes in the past. Indeed during his prematch interview, he admitted that he was already thinking about the final and felt strong enough to beat Ronnie, whilst Kyren refused to go that route and simply said he would focus on the semi-final match.
Ronnie likes Kyren and is appreciative of his work ethic. This should be a good match today.