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Emotional Kyren Wilson clinches maiden World Snooker Championship title

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Kyren Wilson v Jak Jones live stream | World Snooker Championship final preview

Wilson kisses the trophy (Photo credit: Mike Egerton/Alamy Stock)

Kyren Wilson fulfilled his snooker destiny by being crowned World Champion for the first time following an 18-14 win over Jak Jones in the final.

Wilson, who had lost out in the final four years ago, went one better as he secured a career-defining triumph at The Crucible, denying Welsh qualifier Jones in a hard-fought battle.

The 32-year-old had forged a 15-10 lead going into the final session on Monday night, but was forced to withstand a valiant fightback from Jones – who closed the gap to three frames before Wilson finally clinched victory.

He becomes the 28th player to win the World Championship, scooping the £500,000 top prize and climbing to a career-high third in the world rankings.

An emotional Wilson, who let out a huge roar after potting frame and match ball, told BBC Sport: “I’d like to say sorry to Jak for that outburst but it does just mean so much to all of us.

“My mum and dad have remortgaged and sacrificed their whole lives to get me here. My brother and wife too. The list goes on and on, it’s a massive team effort.

“I have dreamed of this moment – it was so nice to have the family there and let out emotions, because we have been on a real rollercoaster of a journey since I was six years old.

“On YouTube one of my worst things to see is me crying with Jason Mohammed at the Masters and this is going to be even worse! I said I’d never do it again but I just couldn’t help it.

“He was so tough, I don’t know if anyone is left in Wales the way they cheered for him. This is Jak’s first final, let alone a world final, and he’s conduct himself so well and I’m sure he’ll be back.”

The damage was effectively done in the first session of the final on Sunday as Wilson stormed to the first seven frames without reply, firing in high breaks of 129, 125 and 90, before Jones settled in to the contest and trailed 11-6 overnight despite a further two centuries from his opponent.

Jones took the first two frames of the third session with breaks of 64 and 59 before Wilson restored a five-frame advantage thanks to breaks of 50 and 83.

The pattern continued as Jones replied with successive breaks of 90 and 73, before Wilson responded with an 87 clearance and went on to claim the following frame to make it 15-10 heading into the evening’s climax.

Wilson edged ever-closer to the winning line as he stretched his lead to six when the pair re-emerged, before Jones registered his first century of the match with a 105 in frame 27.

A crucial moment saw frame 28 go down to a re-spotted black, and after Jones missed a long, straight pot to clinch it, Wilson fluked it to a corner pocket to go within one of the title.

Jones, however, hit back with a 67 break to force a mid-session interval and returned to produce a break of 96 and then battle his way to third consecutive frame to trail 17-14.

However, there was to be no miraculous turnaround as Wilson dug deep to clinch frame 32 and seal an historic triumph.

“Congratulations to Kyren and his family, they deserve it so much,” said Jones. “If anyone deserves it, he does.”

“It’s been an unbelievable tournament for me. About a month ago I was twitching in my first qualifying match.

“It’s been a long month but I’m happy with it.

“I am proud because I don’t think I have played that well, so to beat some of the best players in the world and get to a final – and so close to winning – gives me confidence.”

Jones, who won two qualifying matches to secure his place in the main event for only the second time, defeated former World Champions Judd Trump and Stuart Bingham during a sensational run in Sheffield.

He climbs from 44th to 14th in the world rankings, a decade on from ending the campaign as world number 128 having lost all 16 of his matches during the season.

Wilson’s triumph marks his sixth ranking title and a first Triple Crown success, having also lost in the final of the 2018 Masters.

The Kettering cueist added: “I believe I can be a multiple world champion and I’d be disappointed if I only landed one.

“That first one has got to be the hardest. I’ve got it off my back and nobody can take that away from me.”