GOING HOME to see the family was not a consolation prize to be sniffed at for Kyren Wilson after his Betfred Masters campaign came to its conclusion.
The Kettering cueman was favourite to reach the semi-finals but his time in the prestigious event ended with an agonising 6-5 deciding-frame defeat to David Gilbert.
That brought the curtain down on a prolonged stint in Milton Keynes – where all tournaments are currently being played behind closed doors – after Wilson’s prolonged run in the year-opening Championship League.
“I’ve been in Milton Keynes for more than a week so I’m just looking forward to getting back and seeing the family,” said the 29-year-old.
“Everyone has done a great job to get the tournaments on but it can be tough in the tournament bubble.
“I appreciate the chance to play in this year’s Masters and hats off to everyone who made it happen.
“You’ve got more time to practice in this tournament, we’ve managed to have some hour slots here and I’ve liked that aspect.
“It’s a really classy event and one I’m really proud to be a part of.”
Wilson and Gilbert are no strangers to tight tussles with the two facing off in the German Masters final in 2019, a tournament in which the Northamptonshire potter won his third ranking title.
Eight places separate the two in the rankings but they could hardly have been closer in their quarter-final match – with neither player leading by more than one frame at any stage.
Wilson made the most of the scoring with breaks of 114 and 107 but his fellow Englishman Gilbert held his nerve when it mattered most, coming from 5-4 to pinch the last two and book his last-four berth.
Wilson added: “I played a really good safety shot when I went 5-4 up, and it was one of those shots where, if Dave pots it, he wins the frame and if he misses, I probably go on and win 6-4.
“He’s cued it so sweetly; he’s made a good break to go 5-5 and made a good break in the last.
“I tried to dig my way back in the decider but couldn’t get over the line.
“I’ve won matches where I’ve played worse snooker than that and felt worse for it.
“I know my game is in really good shape, I felt that my match-game was really strong. If it wasn’t for a few slices of luck, I probably win that game 6-3 or 6-2.
“It wasn’t to be for me, I’ve had the luck in my time so you have to take it when it comes.”
Watch the London Masters live on Eurosport and Eurosport app from 10 Jan