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Dublin: 14 °C Thursday 23 May, 2019
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The Rocket reckons he will be world's best but who is snooker's latest sensation?

Kyren Wilson has made a big impression at The Crucible.

RONNIE O’SULLIVAN HAS already backed Kyren Wilson to become the best player in the world following his rise to prominence at this year’s World Championship. But who is the man The Rocket is tipping to become snooker’s next big star?

Currently playing world number one Mark Selby for a spot in the semi-final of the World Championship, Wilson has attracted plenty of attention this year following a qualifier win against two-time finalist Matthew Stevens and tournament victories against Joe Perry and Mark Allen.

The 24-year-old from Kettering in Northamptonshire has his work cut out to keep his tournament hopes alive though as he trails Selby 6-2, in a best-of-25-frame match, ahead of their second session this evening (7pm start). Although it could have been worse, Wilson having won the last two frames of the first session.

Selby, the 2014 champion, is plotting an incredible bank holiday weekend. The Foxes fanatic, known as the ‘Jester from Leicester’, could see his beloved side crowned Premier League champions on Sunday and 24 hours later hopes to be in contention to win his second World Championship.

Source: PA Wire/Press Association Images

But it is Wilson’s story that has really captured the imagination.

Having apparently beaten Peter Ebdon in a game of pool at the age of six, just four years before Ebdon won the World Championship in 2002, his natural talent with a cue was spotted early.

And Wilson has started to deliver on that potential in recent times, having made his debut on the professional tour in 2010/11.

When Wilson won the Shanghai Masters last year, he was the lowest-ranked player (54th) to win a ranking event in 10 years. He edged a thrilling final against Judd Trump 10-9 to pick up a cheque for £85,000 (€110,000) and that came after wins against Perry, Michael Holt and home favourite Ding Junhui.

The current world number 19 still practises with Ebdon and is making just his second appearance in the main draw at The Crucible, having been beaten 10-7 in the first round by Ricky Walden in 2014.

Wilson has been tipped as one to watch by a number of greats of the game and in a match against Anthony Hamilton in February the pair set a new record when, between them, they scored centuries in six consecutive frames.

‘The Warrior’, as Wilson is known, has a one-year-old son with fiance Sophie while in the past he has spoken of his admiration for his father who has had multiple sclerosis for most of Wilson’s adult life.

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About the author:

Alan Waldron

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