Kyren Wilson is relishing another chance to return to China this season as the World Open returns to the calendar, but it was a painful ending to his last outing at the tournament.
After four years with no events in China due to the pandemic, snooker is back in the country with the World Open confirmed for March, adding to the Shanghai Masters, International Championship and Wuhan Open which were announced in April.
The last time the World Open was held was in late 2019 and Wilson reached the semi-finals, a great effort but a run which ended in frustrating fashion.
Asked if he remembers his last outing in Yushan, Wilson told Metro.co.uk: ‘I do remember, and I know you’re going to talk to me about it and it’s going to hurt.
‘I was 4-1 up against Thepchaiya [Un-Nooh] and lost 5-6, he went on a bit of a mad one. He won a close one on the black and then played really well from there. I learned a lot from that match and I’m a better player for it.
‘My brother’s best friend and his mate were out there in China on a business trip and they’d just turned up on the day of the semi-finals. I hadn’t seen them beforehand, I’d played my game and they were in the hotel reception when I got back.
‘They were playing that football game of pool where you kick the big ball into the pockets and I was so angry I just volleyed one of the balls and stomped off to my room without even saying hello. We laugh about it now, but it hurt.’
Judd Trump went on to beat Thepchaiya in the final and Wilson has enjoyed plenty of his own success over in China, believing his career kicked into gear in the country eight years ago.
‘My career, in my eyes, started when I won the Shanghai Masters,’ he said of his shock 2015 triumph. ‘So fond memories over there and I just love having the opportunities.
‘Going all that way, you’ve got to try to make it count. there’s no distractions. you’re there just for snooker. It’s nice to see some sights and fans, but you’re there to try and do well, winning as many matches and titles as you can.
‘We’ve definitely missed the Chinese events over the last few years. The tournaments we’ve had in the UK have been great but it’s time we moved on to bigger and better things and I think China is definitely going to present that.
‘It’s a good position to be in, we’re all crying out for more tournaments, more travel, great to see another one on the calendar, looking forward to it.’
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