Wilson survives Jones fightback to win World Snooker final

Wilson survives Jones fightback to win World Snooker final
Wilson survives Jones fightback to win World Snooker final

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Jeddah - Yasmine El Tohamy - SHEFFIELD, United Kingdom: Kyren Wilson held his nerve on Monday as he overcame an impressive fightback from qualifier Zak Jones to win snooker’s World Championship title for the first time.

A clearly emotional Wilson eventually triumphed 18-14 in the final at Sheffield’s Crucible Theatre in northern England but only after Jones, who lost the first seven frames of the best of 35 contest, had won three frames in a row from 17-11 down to give himself hope of a remarkable rally.

But in the end the 12th-ranked Englishman regained his composure sufficiently to see off his Welsh opponent.

“Can you imagine how embarrassing it would have been if I’d lost and Bailey is dressed like that?” Wilson, pointing to his son, dressed in classic waistcoat and bow tie snooker attire, told the BBC.

The 32-year-old added: “I’d like to say sorry to Jak for that outburst (shouting ‘come on’ on match ball) but it does just mean so much to all of us.

“My mum and dad have remortgaged and sacrificed their whole lives to get me here. My brother and wife too. The list goes on and on, it’s a massive team effort.”

Wilson paid tribute to the resilient Jones by saying: “He was so tough and I don’t know if there’s many people left in Wales the amount that were cheering for him!

“Me and Jak have come through the junior ranks together. This is Jak’s first final, let alone a World final, and he’s conducted himself in an amazing fashion and I’m sure he’ll be back.”

A gracious Jones said: “I congratulate Kyren and family. They deserve it so much. If anyone deserves it, he does.”

Jones was only the ninth qualifier in 47 years at the Crucible to reach the final and he came within sight of emulating Terry Griffiths, his fellow Welshman, in 1979 and Shaun Murphy in 2005 in winning the title.

“It’s been an unbelievable tournament for me. About a month ago I was twitching in my first qualifying match. It’s been a long month but I’m happy with it.”

During his stirring recovery in Monday’s concluding evening session, Jones even threatened a maximum 147 break after potting the first 12 reds and blacks.

Jones had started Monday’s morning session five frames down at 11-6 behind but twice reduced Wilson’s lead to three frames.

Wilson, however, restored his advantage to lead 15-10 heading into the evening’s play.

Jones, who had defeated seeds Zhang Anda and Judd en route to the final, hit back with his first century of the final to cut Wilson’s lead to 16-11.

The 28th frame saw Jones clear to the colors to force a re-spotted black only for Wilson to move within a frame of victory thanks to a stunning pot off three cushions.

Jones ensured there would be a mid-session interval with a break of 67 as he started to claw his way back after looking like he might become only the third player, after John Parrott in 1989 and Jimmy White in 1993, to lose the world final with a session to spare.

But in the end he had left himself with just too much to do as Wilson regained his composure.

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