By Will Jennings
Hungry Kyren Wilson is Judd Trump’s worst nightmare and the Kettering ace is a future world champion.
That’s the view of reigning Crucible king Ronnie O’Sullivan, who toppled Wilson 18-8 to claim his sixth World Championship title last summer
World No.5 Wilson is ramping up preparations for next week’s Masters where he faces world No.14 Jack Lisowski in the first round.
World No.1 Trump has dominated the start of the 2020-21 season having soared to English Open, Northern Ireland Open and World Grand Prix glory.
The ‘Juddernaut’ remains the man to beat but O’Sullivan reckons Wilson, 28, is a future Crucible king and is leading the pack of players breathing down Trump’s neck.
Asked if Wilson will win Triple Crown – World Championship, UK Championship and the Masters – titles, the 45-year-old said: “Yes, absolutely.
“I think when you look at the players coming through, the hardest games for Judd will be against players like Wilson, Mark Allen and a couple of the young Chinese players.
“I think the younger players that really want to win things in the game and have got it to prove – they’re going to be Judd’s people that he’s going to find it hardest against.
“It’s not [John] Higgins, it’s not [Mark] Williams, it’s not [Mark] Selby, it’s not [Neil] Robertson so much, because he’s younger than them.
“It’s the ones younger than him, that want to be like him, that I think he’ll find his stiffest competition.
“I think you look at someone like Kyren Wilson – he would fit into that category. [It’s like]: ‘Judd’s the yardstick and I want to get to him, and every time I play him I’m going to be up for it and he makes me get out of bed in the morning.’
“Kyren Wilson is that type of person – very driven and a very, very good player.”
Wilson, who went down 10-7 against Mark Allen in the 2018 Masters final, lowered the colours of Trump to claim his fourth ranking event title at the Championship League earlier this season.
But it’s been a campaign of frustration for the Northamptonshire star ever since, having reached three consecutive quarter-finals but failed to burst the bubble of Trump, Neil Robertson and Mark Selby.
Wilson has been criticised in the past for his clumsy cue ball control but ironed out any flaws to navigate his way to the World Championship final last season.
A date with O’Sullivan proved a step too far but the Rocket, a seven-time Masters champion, defended the 2015 Shanghai Masters winner and says his control of the white has never been an issue.
The world No.3, who will face 2011 Masters champion Ding Junhui on Wednesday, added: “I think it’s a bit harsh when people keep going on about his cue ball.
“We’re judging him against the best players in the world. He still has a good cue ball.
“We all have areas where we know we want to improve. I’ve got areas that I know I’m not great in and I’m always trying to improve on. Kyren’s no different.
“We’re aware of our weaknesses that we try and work on. They’re only weaknesses when you’re comparing them against other top players, but if you were to compare them against another player ranked 15 or 20 in the world, you go ‘it’s not that weak.’”
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