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Wilson claims European Masters crown to end silverware drought

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Kyren Wilson is the defending champion

Kyren Wilson ended his silverware drought as he captured the European Masters title after a 9-3 victory over Barry Hawkins in the final.

Although it proved a far from spectacular showpiece at the Stadthalle in Furth, the Warrior dominated proceedings to claim his fifth ranking title – becoming the 20th player in snooker history to reach that tally.

The world number eight also pocketed the top prize of £80,000, while securing his place at this season’s Champion of Champions, World Grand Prix and Players Championship.

It had been 660 days since Wilson’s most recent ranking event triumph at the 2020 Championship League.

But the wait is over for the Kettering cueist, who completed a hat-trick of ranking successes in Germany as he added to his victories at the 2018 Paul Hunter Classic and 2019 German Masters.

Ironically, Wilson and Hawkins had contested the last final to be played at the Stadthalle before the COVID-19 pandemic at the 2019 Paul Hunter Classic, with the latter prevailing 4-3 on that occasion.

The Hawk had dropped just eight frames all week – hitting eight centuries and beating the likes of Judd Trump and Mark Williams – to move one win away from ending his five-year wait for a fourth ranking title.

After losing the opener, he threatened to level in the second frame as he recovered from needing a snooker to force a re-spotted black. However, a subsequently poor safety shot proved costly as his opponent opened a 3-0 lead.

Although, the 2013 Crucible finalist responded well; recovering from 54-0 down to snatch frame four on the black, before runs of 51 and 55 cut the deficit to 3-2.

But he was unable to build on that momentum and Wilson capitalised; runs of 42, 41 and 56 moving him 6-2 to the good at the close of play in the afternoon session.

Hawkins threatened to hit the ground running as he opened the evening with 64, but the Warrior battled back before clearing from green to black to snatch a 7-2 advantage.

The world number 12 responded by taking the next frame on the brown, but Wilson was not to be denied.

Although far from his clinical best, the 30-year-old controlled the following two frames to become the sixth different winner of the tournament, which was added to the calendar in 2016, after Judd Trump, Jimmy Robertson, Neil Robertson, Mark Selby and Fan Zhengyi.