Snooker Hall: Kyren Wilson still confident of Crucible glory despite falling victim to the curse of the column!
So, this column's curse strikes again.
Last Friday, I revealed Michael Holt as my outside tip for Crucible glory; he promptly lost 13-8 to Mark Williams. Judd Trump tumbled out after headlining on the same day and Kyren Wilson lost to Mark Selby on the same day he said, on these very pages, that he was targeting the Crucible title.
To his credit, Wilson’s self-belief is unwavering.
“Without a doubt I will win this event in the future,” said the 24-year-old.
“I completely believe in myself and this hasn’t dampened my confidence.
“I will have a bit of a rest and will be back working very, very hard to make sure next season is even better than this one.”
One man who has so far avoided the column curse is Sheffield-based Ding Junhui, who has breezed through to the semi-finals after going through qualifying. His 13-3 demolition of Williams came with a session to spare - earning him a useful rest - and he’s looking like the man to beat.
Until this column is published, that is!
Away from Sheffield for a second, it was interesting to read snooker chief Jason Ferguson’s comments about the game being included in the 2024 Olympics.
Ferguson, chairman of the WPBSA and president of the World Confederation of Billiards Sports, points to the fact that snooker is rapidly expanding and visits 10 countries around the world this season, culminating in the World Championship in Sheffield.
“If you go back five years we’d have said, Olympics? No chance,” Feruson said.
“But we have developed our sport and expanded our programme globally and I think we fully deserve our place on the Olympic platform.
“I can confirm that we will be making a bid for the 2024 Olympic Games. We made a late bid for Tokyo and we did very well. We learned a lot through that process and we know we have the ability to deliver a fantastic Olympic event.”
Last night saw Alan McManus come from 11-9 down to beat fellow Scot John Higgins 13-11 and set up a semi-final with Ding. He also became the oldest ever player to reach the last four. Marco Fu survived a comeback from Barry Hawkins to win a thrilling quarter-final 13-11.