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Kyren Wilson determined to defy the odds on his Masters debut

Wilson assesses the table at The Crucible (credit:)

Masters rookie Kyren Wilson has admitted he feels that his back is against the wall ahead of his debut in snooker's most prestigious invitational event at the Alexandra Palace.

The 25-year-old is set to become the 85th different player to appear in the tournament when he faces Ding Junhui in the opening round on Sunday.

Wilson is understandably excited about making his bow at the Ally Pally, but acknowledges that he is likely to have his work cut out.

"It's definitely up there as one of the special moments of my career," he admitted. "It's only the elite players that are going to be there so, to get into the top 16 and that standard, is a very special achievement.

"I think my back's up against the wall. I'm the youngest player and the only debutant, so I'm going to be a heavy underdog.

"I'm going to try to enjoy the occasion but, at the same time, try to do myself justice."

Standing in Wilson's way is 2011 champion Ding, who is aiming to join a select number of players to have won the title on multiple occasions.

However, the Chinese cueist is yet to win a match at the Ally Pally in five attempts since lifting the trophy at Wembley Arena six years ago.

Kettering's Wilson in action (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
Nevertheless, 'The Warrior' insists that he can still expect a hard-fought battle against the world number six.

"We both know we're in for a tough game and, hopefully, we can both play well and put on a good show for the crowd," he said.

"Ding's a class player. He's won the event before and can turn up and blow people away in tournaments.

"I've just got to focus on my own game and try to make sure I prepare as well as I can."

A string of consistent performances this season, including runs to the Indian Open final as well as the Last Four of the Northern Ireland Open, have seen Wilson establish himself in the top 16.

Ranked 54th in the world just 16 months ago, the venture to the Alexandra Palace will provide the latest chapter in the Kettering man's rapidly progressing career, which first took off when he won the Shanghai Masters in September 2015.

"It's been a bit of a whirlwind, to be honest," he reflected. 

"Winning in Shanghai rocketed me up the rankings, but it was important to keep consistent after that and getting good results, which I think I've backed up so far.

"It's been a great, great year, but I need to keep practising and make sure that continues."



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Kyren Wilson determined to defy the odds on his Masters debut

Masters rookie Kyren Wilson has admitted he feels that his back is against the wall ahead of his debut in snooker's most prestigious invitational event at the Alexandra Palace.

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