Kyren Wilson and Stuart Bingham will face each other in the second round of the World Snooker Championship in Sheffield.
Kyren Wilson’s season so far
Kyren Wilson has enjoyed some decent runs in tournaments this season, but he has also exited early on many occasions.
The Kettering cueist has failed to add to his trophy cabinet, and aside from two versions of the short-format Championship League, it has been more than three years since he’s won a title of note.
Wilson reached the final of last month’s Gibraltar Open but came up short in a 4-2 reverse against the underdog Robert Milkins.
There was a disappointing defeat to Luca Brecel in the semi-final of the UK Championship as well.
Wilson wants to be considered as a top player and in the same conversation as the likes of Ronnie O’Sullivan, Neil Robertson, and Judd Trump.
He’s not there yet, and the 30 year-old needs more prestigious pieces of silverware to ever reach those heights.
Sheffield has been a happy stomping ground for him in the past, with numerous runs to the latter rounds in the last six years – including a runner-up placing in 2020.
Stuart Bingham’s season so far
Former world champion Stuart Bingham has had an unspectacular season, generally failing to threaten for any silverware.
Aside from reaching the final of the invitational edition of the Championship League, Ballrun hasn’t featured prominently at the business end of tournaments.
The 45 year-old reached the semi-final of the World Grand Prix where he was beaten by eventual champion Ronnie O’Sullivan.
A quarter-final run at the recent Gibraltar Open is the only other time he progressed beyond the early rounds.
Conquering the Crucible in 2015 will always rank proudly on Bingham’s snooker CV, and he came pretty close to repeating the feat again last year.
He was narrowly denied a return to the final by Mark Selby in a dramatic last-four clash in Sheffield.
What happened in the last 32?
Many people’s tie of the first round was the encounter between Kyren Wilson and Ding Junhui, and it certainly didn’t disappoint.
A high-quality affair lived up to its billing with the duo trading blow for blow in a bout worthy of a final.
Wilson just about had more in the locker to outlast the former world number one with 10-8 triumph.
Bingham, meanwhile, had a much more comfortable outing and boasted a terrific 140 total clearance in ousting Lyu Haotian 10-5.
Kyren Wilson and Stuart Bingham have played each other 17 times in all competitions, with the former leading the head-to-head 11-6.
This will be the fifth time that they’ve faced one another in a Triple Crown setting, with two wins apiece on that front.
Wilson edged Bingham 6-5 in the Masters earlier this season, and the Kettering cueist also prevailed in their only other World Championship encounter back in 2017.
This duo cross paths at the same stage in Sheffield five years ago with Wilson coming out as a 13-10 winner.
It could be just as close this time around, and it certainly wouldn’t be a surprise to see either of them emerge with a quarter-final berth.
Wilson continuously talks a big game but has so far failed to back that up with silverware in the biggest events.
Having already ousted Ding, this would represent another statement victory if he could land it.
Prediction: Kyren Wilson 13-10 Stuart Bingham
Sunday, April 24th – 10am and 7pm
Monday, April 25th – 1pm
Featured photo credit: WST