Phil Haigh ✍️
Kyren Wilson reckons having extra company with him in Germany helped him win the European Masters title last week, with a Lads on Tour vibe making it an enjoyable time in Furth.
The Warrior won a fifth ranking title of his career, beating Barry Hawkins 9-3 in the final as he pocketed £80,000 in the process.
Wilson always has his brother Taylor with him on the World Snooker Tour, but he added some more loved ones to his team for the trip to Germany, with his dad and Wilson Senior’s best friend coming along for the ride.
Of course the 30-year-old had to perform on the table, which he did, but Wilson reckons the fun on the trip helped him produce his best snooker.
‘From my first game I played Lyu Haotian, that was straight on the TV table, I settled really quickly, played well and so I knew my game was there to do some damage,’ Wilson told Metro.co.uk. ‘I quietly went about my business and my dad, brother and dad’s best friend were all out with me until the Friday.
‘It was a bit of a Lads on Tour type week. Especially for my dad and his best mate, me and my brother were hanging around with them, just having fun, they were watching my games in between and it just took the pressure off.
‘My dad and his mate are like Jack the Lads. I’d love to have my dad come to a lot more, it just so happened that it worked out they both could come. Just lots of banter, having a good time, it gave the tournament a different aspect.
‘It’s made me think that me and Taylor can do things differently and replicate some of that because when you do enjoy yourself it brings the best out of you on the table.
‘It was just having a laugh. Even if it’s just the hotel bar, game of cards, reminiscing on old memories. Silly things, playing pranks on each other. It just made it an enjoyable week.
‘It takes your mind off things. A famous thing Steve Davis said was that going out and playing like it means nothing when it means everything, that’s half the battle.’
The Wilson brothers did not have chance for a proper celebration in Germany, but did make the most of it when they got back to the UK.
‘We celebrated with a McDonalds in Germany, just shot down, had a Big Mac each, lived the dream,’ said Kyren.
‘But I got home, my wife and dad came to pick me and my brother up, I turned up on my drive and got sprayed with a load of champagne. Car is covered in it, clothes were drenched, but it was great. Had loads of friends and family there, had a nice day, a couple of drinks, it was really good.’
Wilson has now picked up five ranking titles, but no matter how many he claims he does not think any will mean more to him than his triumph at the 2015 Shanghai Masters.
The Warrior was ranked 54th in the world when he caused a huge upset to win in Shanghai, but it meant even more to him as he nearly didn’t play in the tournament as he was desperate to go to his dad’s 50th birthday.
Friends and family watched on from Tenerife as Kyren won the tournament, which made it all worthwhile and maybe so good that it will never be beaten.
‘I don’t think anything will ever top the Shanghai Masters for me,’ said Kyren. ‘The time I won it, the position me and my family were in, that tournament completely changed my life, so I don’t think anything will ever quite top that.’
When suggested that he could face this question at the Crucible one day, he admitted: ‘Maybe six pints deep after I’ve won the world title I could change my mind.’
Kyren is not back in tournament action until the British Open, but is playing a charity exhibition on Saturday (27 August) in a bid to raise as much money as possible for six-year-old Florence Bark who is suffering with leukemia.
‘I’ve got an exhibition tomorrow at my snooker club Barratt’s in Northampton,’ Kyren explained. ‘We’re raising some funds for a little girl called Florence who’s battling leukemia. It’s the least we can do.’
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