Paul Krishnamurty previews both semi-finals from Alexandra Palace and draws a clear conclusion - the Masters market is wrong and red-hot favourite Judd Trump must be opposed...
"That Shanghai breakthrough demonstrated the fine temperament that has allowed Wilson to break into the top-16 so quickly. His achievements are greater and he's a more complete player than Trump was after six years as a pro."
Back Kyren Wilson 3u @ [3.15] (v Trump)
We're down to the last four in what has been a slightly odd Masters renewal. From a superb opening few matches, the standard slipped markedly over the last couple of days and weighing up the form is not straightforward. Indeed if the quarter-finals are the definitive guide, then the market is wrong.
For my view, Judd Trump played worst of the four quarter-final winners. Granted, his match was the toughest on paper but Shaun Murphy simply didn't turn up. Opposing the Juddernaut in the last two rounds has gone wrong but, at the current odds, that strategy must be persevered with today. Kyren Wilson is outstanding value at 3.15 to progress to his first major final.
In their limited head-to-head, Trump leads 3-2 but the first two wins came when Wilson was a barely-known qualifier. The first time they met in a big match - certainly the biggest of Wilson's life at that time - the Warrior won 10-9 in the 2015 Shanghai Masters final. Since then they've won one apiece, both by a 4-2 scoreline.
That Shanghai breakthrough demonstrated the fine temperament that has allowed Wilson to break into the top-16 so quickly. He's bidding here to reach his third final of the year and the sky really is the limit. His achievements are greater and he's a more complete player than Trump was after six years as a pro.
On wider evidence, there is nothing to suggest Kyren will freeze on this stage. True, Mark Williams provided little resistance in the last round but Wilson could do no more than take his chances and remain super-focused. I think he'll do so again here and give Trump a great deal to think about.
The second semi-final looks an absolute cracker. John Higgins and Mark Allen are tied 8-8 throughout their careers and have produced a similarly strong standard in both matches. They met in the last-16 here last year, with Allen winning 6-5, and I expect it will be very close again.
If forced to pick a winner, Allen is probably a bit of value at 2.38, but a bet on Over 9.5 Frames at 2.1 is preferred. I'll be very surprised if the scoreline is more one-sided than 6-3 either way.
Masters 2018 Profit/Loss
Stakes: 52 units
Returns: 59.5 units
P/L: + 7.5 units
Back Kyren Wilson 3u @ 3.15 (v Trump)
Back Over 9.5 Frames in Higgins v Allen 5u @ 2.1