Kyren Wilson will take on Shaun Murphy in the Crucible semi-finals – and is now hoping to show the same stamina as a hotel couple that kept him awake.
The 29-year-old from Kettering maintained his excellent recent Betfred World Championship record by knocking out the much-fancied Neil Robertson 13-8 in Sheffield.
But after reaching a third semi-final in four years, last year’s runner-up Wilson revealed sleep had been in short supply due to some noisy bedroom gymnastics from the floor above.
However the world number six reckons his own performance at snooker’s 17-day marathon is being boosted by his ‘Hulk juice’ in the arena – a guava and coconut water based smoothie.
Wilson said: “We did finish our second session late on Tuesday – and then I had a couple above me in the hotel bonking about 11.45pm.
“I had planned to be asleep at midnight but they were at it for a good half-hour, so not bad really. I was pleading for them to give it a rest and got to sleep maybe after 12.30am.
“And then they were at it again at 7am, the stamina was incredible. I was just thinking ‘you jammy gits’, having been away from home myself.
“I did have a look around at breakfast – which was a ‘Grab and go’, funnily enough – but I couldn’t identify the culprits. I did ask for the room number for a closer listen!
“So I had to listen to it all again this morning before the alarm went off.
“As for my own stamina, my ‘Hulk’ juice has been keeping me going and turning me into a monster and I am finishing matches strongly feeling fit and healthy.
“I am trying to improve on my nutrition, they are the smoothies that give you everything you need according to my brother who is the expert.
“I think it is one of the Innocent smoothies, maybe there is some guava in there, and some coconut water. I don’t know, I’m just the drone who drinks what he’s told to. And water gets boring.
“I always arrive here believing I can win the tournament. I don’t just blag it and try and look confident, I genuinely believe it is a matter of when, and not if.
“That might not be this year, but I have time on my side and I’ll keep growing as a player.
“Even though I lost the final to Ronnie O’Sullivan last year I did take a lot of positives both from thew run and also the match. I bossed the second session and should have been closer.
“The table was absolutely awful, one of the worst I have played on at the Crucible. So it was about trying to be positive about it and taking the game to Neil.”
Murphy, the 2005 champion, reached his first semi-final since getting to the final in 2015 and losing to Stuart Bingham with a superb 13-11 victory over world No1 Judd Trump on Wednesday night.
It felt like a shock win based on the respective seasons of the two players, with the Juddernaut having won five ranking titles and arriving in Sheffield as a worthy tournament favourite.
The 38-year-old Murphy has been decidedly out of sorts after a season plagued with travel problems from his new base in Ireland, getting to and from Milton Keynes where most events have been staged, and trying to get any sort of balance seeing enough of a young family.
But he has saved his best for the Crucible. A blistering first two sessions saw him take a 10-6 lead into the final sessions.
And even though Trump roared back at him and levelled things at 11-11, Murphy dug deep to find something at the death, and secure one of his biggest wins for years.
Murphy said: “I felt like in Rocky IV where he just gets completely pummelled by the Russian for an hour tonight.
“Did you see some of those shots he kicked off with tonight? It was ridiculous! They kept going in. I sat there in my seat thinking, ‘I’ve seen all this before, I’ve made comebacks like that’.
“But I just dug in and when I eventually got my chance…I just dug in. We go on about how much we love coming to the Crucible but 90 per cent of the last two hours were horrific.
“The more momentum he got the louder his supporters got, the crowd get more vociferous and I’m just thinking I just want to go home.
“I’m thrilled that when I did get my chance that I did stand up there and made it count, and am back in the semi-finals for the first time in a while.”