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World Snooker Championship final: Kyren Wilson leads Jak Jones 11-6, needs seven more frames to win title

Kyren Wilson needs seven more frames on Monday to win World Snooker Championship for the first time after carving out 11-6 lead over Jak Jones; Welshman Jones rallies from 7-0 down in opening session as he looks to become first qualifier to claim Crucible title since Shaun Murphy in 2005

Kyren Wilson, World Snooker Championship (PA Images)
Image: Kyren Wilson leads Jak Jones 11-6 after day one of the World Snooker Championship final at The Crucible

Kyren Wilson opened up an 11-6 lead over qualifier Jak Jones on an enthralling day one of the World Snooker Championship final at The Crucible as he aims to go one better than four years ago.

Twelfth seed Wilson was drubbed 18-8 by Ronnie O'Sullivan in the 2020 final but proved the dominant player early in his clash with world No 44 Jones as he raced into a 7-0 advantage in the afternoon and then led 10-4 in the evening.

Jones, hoping to become the first qualifier to win the Crucible title since Shaun Murphy in 2005 and just the third overall, cut Wilson's lead to 10-6 and looked on course to trim the gap to three before he broke down in the final frame of the day and his higher-ranked opponent won it on the black following a safety exchange.

Wilson remains heavy favourite to secure his sixth ranking title and the £500,000 top prize, but Jones is still in the hunt to claim his maiden ranking trophy and cap a fairytale run in Sheffield having had to win two matches just to reach the main draw.

Wilson was 7-1 up after the first session on Sunday, with Jones only getting on the board in the last frame of the afternoon thanks to a break of 65 as he avoided becoming the first player since Dennis Taylor in 1985 to lose the first eight frames in the final.

Jones won the opening two frames of the evening to cut his arrears to four, only for Wilson to respond with his third century of the match and then a break of 60 to restore his six-frame advantage as Jones failed to convert opportunities that came his way.

The players traded the next two frames with Wilson knocking in century No 4 but Jones won the next two, recording his highest break of the match with a 90 in frame 16, before Wilson snatched the last to head into Monday's finale needing seven more frames.

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Kyren Wilson, World Snooker Championship, The Crucible (PA Images)
Image: Wilson beat David Gilbert 17-11 to make the World Snooker Championship final

Wilson resurgence continues in Sheffield showpiece

Wilson had only reached one semi-final this season before arriving in Sheffield but has been in sparkling form at The Crucible, demolishing Dominic Dale 10-1 in the first round before a 10-6 win over Joe O'Conor was followed by a 13-8 victory over four-time world champion John Higgins in the quarter-finals.

The 32-year-old then defeated David Gilbert 17-11 in the semi-finals, assuming control after winning five frames on the trot from 9-9.

Wilson was too hot for Jones to handle on Sunday afternoon as he registered two centuries - including a 129 in the opener - and four further breaks over fifty to romp into that 7-0 lead.

Jak Jones, World Snooker Championship (PA Images)
Image: Jak Jones says criticism of his methodical playing style is 'pathetic'

Jones: Pathetic to criticise my style of play

Jones is guaranteed a place in the world's top 16 next season regardless of whether he wins the final, with the Welshman entering the elite group for the first time after seeing off Zhang Anda, Si Jiahui, 2019 world champion Judd Trump and 2015 winner Stuart Bingham during a fairytale run.

Before the final, Jones said criticism of his methodical style of play was "pathetic" after both Trump and Bingham claimed they found it hard to maintain rhythm while facing him.

The 30-year-old said: "It seems like a common excuse these players use against me. They are supposed to be the best in the world but are moaning about being knocked out of rhythm.

"They just can't accept it. It's pathetic really, isn't it? It doesn't bother me. It is easy to blame what I am doing but it is working."

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