Gary Wilson reacts to brilliant win over Ronnie O'Sullivan at Scottish Open

November 30, 2022
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Phil Haigh ✍️  

Betfred World Snooker Championship - Day Three
Gary Wilson scored his first ever win over Ronnie O’Sullivan on Wednesday night (Picture: Getty Images)

Gary Wilson turned in a superb performance to beat Ronnie O’Sullivan 4-3 in the last 32 of the Scottish Open on Wednesday night, admitting that he was expecting the worst having never beaten the Rocket before.

The Tyneside Terror knocked in breaks of 72, 83, 82 and 73 in the frames he won, clinching victory in impressive fashion, downing the world champion for the first time at the fourth time of asking.

Always a huge clash when anyone meets the world number one, Wilson says it was even bigger than usual as he is trying to get into the top 32 on the one-year list to make it into January’s Grand Prix.

Despite that pressure, he tried to take the intensity out of it, not worrying if O’Sullivan turned in a sparkling performance – which he didn’t manage – and just happy to make the most of any chances that came his way.

‘Obviously it’s a massive game,’ Wilson told Eurosport. ‘You try and play it down in your own head as much as you can, but it’s not just a big game because it’s Ronnie for me, I’m like a lot of players chasing points for the Grand Prix as well.

‘The way the season’s have worked out for the lasts couple of tournaments, I knew I’ve got to play Ronnie if he wins in the third round of each tournament coming up, if he gets through.

‘I knew I’d have to beat him in one of them and have a decent run in one of them [to make the Grand Prix], so I just tried to stay as calm as I could, in the moment.

Gary Wilson Ronnie O'Sullivan
O’Sullivan congratulated Wilson on a fine win (Picture: Eurosport)

‘I didn’t feel like I had much to lose, because I’ve been in situations like that before, especially with Ronnie you can break off and lose the frame, it happens quite a lot.

‘So I was just expecting the worst, but not in a bad way. If he pots all the balls and wins the frame, it’s nothing new. If he misses one or two, happy days, let’s see what I can do when I get to the table.’

The 37-year-old has been to two big ranking finals and the World Championship semi-final, and is one of the best players on the circuit not to have a ranking title to his name.

He admits he has weaknesses in his game that stops him performing at his best on a regular basis, because clearly his peak is good enough to compete with anyone.

‘I generally don’t feel great when I’m playing. I may score heavy but even then I’m not feeling great a lot of the time,’ he explained.

‘Action-wise and how I feel at the table, don’t feel relaxed enough or competent enough.

‘Sometimes on side tables you’re playing players – no disrespect – that you should be beating and I open up a bit, play more naturally and fluently, but faced with difficult shots, I feel like my action can let us down.’

Wilson now takes on either Hossein Vafaei or Yan Bingtao in the last 16 in Edinburgh.

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