The York Barbican got a glance at a possible future star of the game, when China’s Wu Yize made Kyren Wilson work every step of the way for his 6-3 victory. Fifth in the world played someone outside the top 100, but the quality was a lot closer at the table in a gripping match.
Wu started convincingly, with a controlled cannon shot into a cluster of reds building his confidence. After a bitty period in which neither man controlled the table, Wilson finally got some significant time under his belt. He got a red out of the bottom corner beautifully, and despite the spectre of a Yize comeback, he brilliantly took the frame. The second saw the teenager in firm control, starting with a promising 47 break. A superb pink into the green pocket sealed the frame, with Wilson choosing not to rise from his seat.
The Chinese player showed remarkable poise for someone competing at his first UK Championships, engineering a superb 89 break that was cruelly stopped short of a century by a missed red. This was still remarkable stuff, and Wu was in the driving seat. Yize’s momentum was quelled when he fluffed a safety in the fourth frame. ‘The Warrior’ needed no second invitation, taking the lead and not letting up to draw level at 2-2 going into the interval.
After a brilliant start that belied his tender age, the 18-year-old struggled to get going again after the break. Wilson, by contrast, was emboldened. A superbly-taken 115 break felt like an assertion of dominance, a warning to the young pretender from the world number five. The Kettering man led for the first time since the opening frame.
Wilson raced to 56-0, giving himself over 200 unanswered across the two frames. A superb long red stood out, demonstrating excellent cue ball control. Kyren missed frame-ball when he looked to have wrapped up the frame, but an overcut brown from Wu brought him back to the table to wrap it up and take a two-frame lead.
The seventh frame offered little in terms of the quality we had grown accustomed to, and was stuttering in nature. This break in the natural flow favoured Yize, who made a game of things to get back within a frame. He could not recover from an early snooker behind the green in the eighth though. A series of misses left Kyren openings to accumulate, which he gratefully took to re-assert his two-frame lead.
The ninth featured unexpected drama, when Wu dropped his water glass, which shattered on the floor. It was certainly not the sort of break he needed to get himself back in this match. Wilson dominated for the most part, but as he had all the way through Wu gave him plenty to think about. A long-distance green on the second attempt after a foul gave Wilson match-ball. The brown stayed out though to keep the teenager alive in his first UK Championship.
An incredible Wilson shot to pot the brown when it didn’t look close to being on left Wu needing a snooker to keep himself in it. It was to no avail though, and a powerful hit on the blue sent Wilson through to round four by a 6-3 margin.
Full Evening Session Results
Kyren Wilson 6-3 Wu Yize
Ben Woollaston 5-4 Liam Highfield *
Noppon Saengkham 5-5 Stuart Bingham *
Graeme Dott 2-6 Jack Lisowski
*Still playing at publishing time