Kyren Wilson (born 23 December 1991) is an English snooker player who turned professional in 2010, after finishing fifth in the 2009/2010 PIOS rankings. Wilson won his first ranking title at the 2015 Shanghai Masters when, ranked 54th in the world, he defeated Judd Trump 10–9 in the final.
In the 2009/2010 season he won the sixth event and was runner-up in the third event of the International Open Series and finished fifth in the rankings. Thus, Wilson received a place on the 2010/2011 season professional main tour.
Professional debut 2010/2011
Wilson had good qualifying results in the two biggest ranking events on the snooker calendar. In the UK Championship he defeated Paul Davison 9–6 and Ian McCulloch 9–8, before losing 4–9 to Rory McLeod. He reached the same stage of the World Championship with defeats of Dermot McGlinchey and Joe Swail, before McLeod once again conquered Wilson this time 10–3. He finished the year ranked world number 72, outside of the top 64 who retained their places for the next season. He therefore entered Qualifying School in an attempt to win back his place but, despite having deep runs in each of the three events, he could not achieve this.
As he had dropped off the snooker tour Wilson was considered an amateur player and could not enter qualifying for any of the ranking events. He entered all 12 of the Players Tour Championship events, where he lost in the last 64 on five occasions. He was placed 72nd on the PTC Order of Merit. He once again entered Q School but only won one match in the three events.
In the 2012/2013 season Wilson was again confined to entering PTC events and enjoyed a good run in the Kay Suzanne Memorial Trophy by beating Tom Ford, Jamie Jones and Stephen Maguire, before being whitewashed 4–0 by Ding Junhui in the last 16. He also lost in the last 32 in two European Tour events to be ranked 75th on the PTC Order of Merit, high enough to earn a place back on the snooker tour for the 2013/2014 season.
Wilson enjoyed a successful return to the professional game during the 2013/2014 season. He won four matches in Shanghai Masters qualifying, concluding with a 5–3 victory over Marcus Campbell to reach the main stage of a ranking event for the first time. In his first round match against Stuart Bingham, Wilson had a chance to make a 147 but missed the 13th black. Nevertheless, he defeated his much higher ranked opponent 5–1 and continued his run with a 5–3 win over Marco Fu. Wilson's tournament came to an abrupt end in the quarter-finals as he lost 1–5 against Michael Holt. He caused another upset in the first round of the International Championship by beating Stephen Maguire 6–3, before losing 1–6 to Graeme Dott in the second round. He also qualified for the China Open, but was eliminated 5–3 by Jamie O'Neill in the opening round.
In World Championship qualifying, Wilson beat Chris Norbury 10–6 and then saw off experienced campaigners Alfie Burden and Rod Lawler, both by 10–3 scorelines, to stand just one win away from making his debut appearance at the Crucible. In the fourth qualifying round, he faced the 2006 winner of the event Graeme Dott and came back from 1–4 down to trail only 4–5 at the end of the first session. His momentum continued into the evening and he took the last four frames of the match, including three breaks over 50, to win 10–7. In anticipation of playing his first match at the Crucible, Wilson described it as a "dream come true" and said that he would like to draw Ronnie O'Sullivan in the first round. Dott stated that Wilson could "beat anybody" if he played to the same standard again. Wilson played world number 12 Ricky Walden in the first round of the championship, losing 7–10 after a final frame that lasted for over an hour.
Wilson failed to qualify for the first three ranking events of the 2014/2015 season, before beating Ross Muir to play in the first round of the International Championship where he lost 2–6 to Sam Baird. After edging Gary Wilson 6–5 in the first round of the UK Championship, Wilson stated that his concentration had been fading in matches this season and would have to raise his game significantly against defending champion Neil Robertson. He did exactly that as he made an 87 break to lead 5–4 and had a chance to win in the next frame courtesy of a fluked red, but lost position on the final brown allowing Robertson to level. In the decider Wilson missed a tough opening red and Robertson responded with a match winning 86. After losing in the semi-finals of the Shoot-Out, Wilson had his best finish of the year in a ranking event as he dropped just one frame in beating Alan McManus and Ben Woollaston at the Indian Open. In the last 16, he was edged out 4–3 by Joe Perry. Wilson broke into the top 64 in the rankings for the first time during the season to end it as the world number 56.
Wilson won three matches to qualify for the 2015 Shanghai Masters and came through a wildcard round match in China, before beating Joe Perry 5–2 and Michael Holt 5–1. In Wilson's second career ranking event quarter-final he led home favourite Ding Junhui 3–1, before Ding levelled at 3–3. The match went to a deciding frame, which Wilson won on the final black. Wilson then dominated Mark Allen 6–1 to reach his first ranking final, where his match with Judd Trump went to a deciding frame, after Wilson had led 7–3, 8–4 and 9–7. In the decider, Wilson made a championship winning 75 break to claim his first ranking title. The surprise victory saw the world number 54 Wilson become the lowest ranked player to win a ranking title since 2005, however he rose to 22nd after the event.
After the Shanghai success, Wilson lost in the last 32 of the two next ranking events: 3−6 to Mark Allen at the International Championship and 1−6 to Tom Ford at the UK Championship. At the German Masters, after beating Rory McLeod, Michael Holt and Ryan Day, all by 5−4 scorelines, he reached the semi-finals, but was defeated 6−3 by Luca Brecel, who became the first Belgian player to reach the final of a ranking event.
Along with Anthony Hamilton at the China Open qualifiers, Wilson set a new record of six consecutive centuries in a snooker match, four of which were scored by him. In the first round of the Welsh Open, Wilson lost 3−4 to Irish amateur Leo Fernandez. He qualified for the World Grand Prix, having finished fourth on the World Grand Prix Order of Merit, but lost 1–4 to Joe Perry in the last 16 and at the China Open he was knocked out 5−1 in the second round by Rod Lawler. Wilson came through World Championship qualifying and then edged out Joe Perry 10–9 in the opening round. In the second round he took a 7–1 lead over Mark Allen after the first session and also led 11–5, before Allen won four frames in a row. However, Wilson then took the two frames he needed to reach the quarter-finals and made the tournament's high break of 143 against Mark Selby, but lost 8–13. His highly successful season saw him placed in the top 16 for the first time, ending the year at 16th in the world rankings.
Wilson recovered from 0–3 down to Xiao Guodong in the second round of the Indian Open to win 4–3 and would go on to play in the final after eliminating Nigel Bond 4–1 in the semi-finals. He faced Anthony McGill and it marked the first ranking event final in five years to feature two players under the age of 25. They were tied at 2–2 at the interval, but McGill pulled away to triumph 5–2. In the fourth round of the Northern Ireland Open, Wilson was 3–0 up before his opponent Ronnie O'Sullivan restricted him to one pot as he levelled with three successive centuries. Wilson held his nerve to win 4–3 and then beat Mark Williams 5–4. In the semi-finals he lost 2–6 to Mark King. Wilson played in the Masters for the first time and was eliminated 6–3 by Ding Junhui.
Wilson overcame Ding 5–1 in the quarter-finals of the China Open, but never got ahead of Mark Selby in a 6–4 semi-final defeat. Wilson was a seeded player at the World Championship for the first time and battled past David Grace 10–6 in the opening round. He had a great start against Stuart Bingham in round two as he won the first five frames and he went on to reach the quarter-finals of the event for the second year in a row with a 13–10 win. The tip of Wilson's cue split at 3–3 and John Higgins would progress 13–6.
Wilson made his first official 147, the 133rd in competitive history, to force a decider against Martin Gould in the second round of the International Championship, but eventually lost 5–6. In January 2018, Wilson reached the final of the Masters, becoming the first person born in the 1990s to appear in any Triple Crown final. He was beaten by Mark Allen in a close match. Wilson also reached two ranking finals that season, losing to Ding Junhui and Ronnie O'Sullivan, and also enjoyed his career-best run at the World Championship as he reached the semi-finals (beating Allen 13–6 in the last eight) before losing 13–17 to John Higgins. Wilson made a 140 break in frame seven, after which the match was delayed for a time when he suffered a nosebleed.
In August 2018, Wilson claimed his second ranking event title at the Paul Hunter Classic, defeating his former mentor and 2002 World Champion Peter Ebdon 4–2 in the final. In September, he won his second consecutive tournament, the non-ranking Six-red World Championship, defeating Ding Junhui in the final 8–4. He then reached the semi-finals of the Shanghai Masters where, after tying the match at 6–6, he lost 6–10 to defending and eventual champion Ronnie O'Sullivan.
At the Champion of Champions tournament in November, Wilson beat world champion Mark Williams and Judd Trump by dropping only a frame in each match, before defeating Masters Champion Mark Allen, to face Ronnie O'Sullivan in the final. O'Sullivan led 5–1 and 8–5, but Wilson pulled back to lead 9–8 before eventually losing 9–10. In the Northern Ireland Open, Wilson played a 7-frame match that lasted over three hours, against Lee Walker (whose average shot time was 38 seconds), losing 3–4 in the deciding frame. He then reached the quarter-final stage of the UK Championship, losing 1–6 to Stuart Bingham.
He won the German Masters in February 2019, beating David Gilbert 9–7 in the final. Having trailed 5–7, Wilson recovered to win the last four frames of the match for his third ranking title. He made quarter-final appearances at three further ranking events before the end of the season, at the World Grand Prix, the Tour Championship, and the World Championship.
Defending his title at the Paul Hunter Classic in August 2019, Wilson finished runner-up after a 3–4 defeat to Barry Hawkins in the final. Leading the match 3–2 and needing only a couple of pots to retain the title, Wilson broke down on 57, allowing Hawkins to force a deciding frame which he won.
At the quarter-final stage of the Shanghai Masters in September, Wilson led 5–1 against defending champion Ronnie O'Sullivan and was just one frame away from progressing to the next round, but then lost five straight frames and the match 5–6. He reached the semi-finals of the World Open in October, losing 5–6 to Thepchaiya Un-Nooh.
After losing to Stuart Bingham in the quarter-finals of the 2020 Masters, where he led 4–1 before being defeated 4–6, Wilson beat defending champion Judd Trump 4–3 in the second round of the World Grand Prix in February 2020; he then defeated John Higgins in the quarter-finals 5–4, before being knocked out in the semi-finals by Neil Robertson 4–6. The following week, he reached the final of the Welsh Open; despite inflicting a 5–0 quarter-final whitewash on defending champion Neil Robertson, and making his second competitive 147 along the way, he was heavily defeated in the final by Shaun Murphy 9–1.
He was runner-up at the 2020 Gibraltar Open in March; after defeating Thepchaiya Un-Nooh and Mark Williams, both 4–0, en route to the final, he missed out on the title with a 3–4 defeat to Judd Trump.
Wilson has English parents, Rob and Sonya, and a brother, Taylor, who travels with him on tour as his P.A. and whose duties include ball polishing.
He is married with two sons and has stated that he wants to win titles to make them proud.