Kyren Wilson starts Masters challenge with comfortable win over Gary Wilson

Kyren Wilson recorded two centuries as he beat Gary Wilson 6-2 in the first round of the Betfred Masters in Milton Keynes.

Gary Wilson, who along with Joe Perry was called into the event at the last minute when Judd Trump and Jack Lisowski withdrew after testing positive for coronavirus, led 2-1 after a break of 85 in the second frame and a 43 clearance in the third.

However, Kyren Wilson levelled with a superb break of 108 and also compiled a clearance of 136 in the seventh frame on his way to a comfortable win.

“I’m really please with that,” Kyren told the BBC. “My match play was really strong.

“I’ve been playing John Higgins for the last four days (in the Championship League) so if that’s not going to improve your match game I don’t know what is.

“The Masters is quite a high-pressure tournament and I had it in my head that if I can keep Gary under it, hopefully he would sort of suffer with a little bit of nerves and realise the occasion.”

Wilson had been expecting to face Lisowski since the draw was made in December and only found out about his change of opponent on Saturday.

“You mentally prepare for an opponent and we find out before Christmas so you have a few weeks to visualise who you’re going to play, how you’re going to play out there,” the World Championship runner-up added.

“It doesn’t give you much time to prepare for another one but these are the times and fair play to World Snooker for sorting it out because a bye would have been no good.”

News of the withdrawals of Trump and Lisowksi came as a further blow to the tournament, which was forced to abandon plans of playing at its regular Alexandra Palace venue in front of a limited number of spectators following a tightening of Government lockdown rules.

Open only to the top 16 players in the world, the Masters is considered one of the sport’s ‘triple crown’ events along with the World and UK Championships.