Peter Ebdon insists it is only a matter of time before his former protégé Kyren Wilson goes on to lift the World Championship trophy at The Crucible, suggesting that 2017 could well be his year in snooker’s blue-riband event.
The 2002 World champion has spent a lot of time practising with Wilson from an early age right through to the present day - where they still share a table in Northamptonshire.
Ebdon realised the 25-year-old’s potential as a youngster and, while full of praise for his current ability, is confident that there is plenty more to come from him in the near future.
“You’ve not seen anything of Kyren Wilson yet – I promise you,” he said. “He is one of the very best players I’ve ever played.
“I practise with him most of the time and he is an absolutely outstanding player and a really nice lad.
“He’s got a great all-round game and not really got a weakness. He’s great with the rest, his long game is incredible and he scores very heavily.”
World number 14 Wilson, who is a seeded player at the World Championship for the first time this year, overcame local favourite David Grace in the opening round to set up a tasty Last 16 clash with 2015 champion Stuart Bingham.
He made his breakthrough at the Shanghai Masters in September 2015 – winning three matches to qualify and beating the likes of Joe Perry, Ding Junhui and Mark Allen, before claiming a narrow 10-9 victory over Judd Trump thanks to a wonderful 85 break in the decider.
And according to Ebdon, who was beaten 10-5 by Bingham in the first round of the World Championship on Monday, it was there that the Warrior demonstrated another of his great qualities which stands him in good stead to lift the sport’s greatest prize.
“He’s also great under pressure as he proved against Judd when he cleared up to win in Shanghai,” Ebdon added.
“I’d be very surprised if he’s not the World champion within the next two or three years.
“He’s got the class to do it, and 2017 could be his year.”