Kyren Wilson is hoping he has more than just his brother’s birthday to celebrate this weekend.
The Kettering potter booked his place in the semi-finals at the ManBetX Welsh Open on Friday, breezing past an in-form Neil Robertson 5-0 to line up a tantalising clash with Ronnie O’Sullivan.
The world No.8 crafted breaks of 79, 67 and 63 under Cardiff’s Motorpoint Arena lights, dashing Robertson’s hopes of winning a third ranking event title in the space of three weeks.
And Wilson, also an avid Chelsea fan who will be following Monday’s match against Manchester United with interest, believes he has what it takes to go all in way.
“It’s another tough match against Ronnie - we’re in the semi-finals of the Welsh Open and everyone at that stage is capable of winning the tournament,” he said.
Can anyone stop Ronnie O'Sullivan from claiming the @manbetxofficial Welsh Open title in Cardiff? 🤔@KyrenWilson is his next opponent, having whitewashed man of the moment Neil Robertson in the quarter finals.
They clash in the last four at 1pm tomorrow #WelshOpen pic.twitter.com/lV6apCs6l1
— World Snooker Tour (@WeAreWST) February 14, 2020
“I always enjoy playing those sorts of players to see where my game’s at, and it’s just going to be the same again tomorrow.
“I’m really confident as my game’s in a good place - I played some good snooker against Neil and put in a good performance.
“I’m just going to chill out tonight before the match - it’s my brother’s birthday so we’ll probably go out and have a nice meal somewhere, and just enjoy spending time in Cardiff.
“And it’s all good at Chelsea - Frank Lampard is doing a fantastic job and the young guns there are making it really exciting to watch.
“We’re doing really well and we’re looking good for the Champions League.”
— Eurosport UK (@Eurosport_UK) February 14, 2020
The 28-year-old also reached the last four at the Coral World Grand Prix last week, where he lost 6-4 against Robertson to deny him a shot at a maiden ranking event triumph for over a year.
And while it has been Robertson and world No.1 Judd Trump who have dominated the snooker circuit this season, Wilson believes he is not far away from reaching their level.
“I am still behind Judd and Neil, and you have to be winning titles to disagree with that, but I’m not far off and I’ve now beaten both of them in the last two weeks,” he added.
“I know I’m very close to it, so it’s just about maintaining that consistency and keeping it going.”