2024 Players Championship: Gary Wilson Set to Build on Welsh Open Success

In the 2024 Johnstone's Paint Players Championship, Gary Wilson exhibited resilience and skill, securing a hard-fought 6-4 victory over Hossein Vafaei in the first round. In an exclusive interview, Wilson reflects on his performance, addressing his approach to maintaining focus amidst recent success and his anticipation for future opportunities. As he advances to the quarterfinals, Wilson's unwavering commitment to excellence remains palpable.

Louis Hobbs
Louis Hobbs

Last Updated: 2024-02-21

Wade McElwain

5 minutes read

Gary Wilson at a Snooker match

Wilson Reflects on Gritty Triumph

In a hard-fought encounter at the 2024 Johnstone's Paint Players Championship, Gary Wilson showcased resilience and determination to secure a 6-4 triumph over Hossein Vafaei in the first round of the tournament. Despite facing challenges throughout the match, Wilson's unwavering focus and strategic play ultimately propelled him to victory.


Reflecting on his performance in an exclusive interview with, Wilson candidly admitted, "To be honest, I didn't feel very good throughout." Despite his initial struggles, Wilson managed to capitalise on key opportunities, particularly in the early frames. "Just sometimes you are presented with certain shots in games of snooker... I was presented with a couple of long ones that I kind of had to drop in for the black," he explained.


Maintaining composure amidst the pressure, Wilson emphasised his determination to stay solid and minimize errors. "I didn't feel great but still managed to fudge a few breaks in and keep it solid and try and keep it tight and just try and not give him chances as much as I could," he stated.

Maintaining Composure Under Pressure

Responding to inquiries about his recent success at the Welsh Open, Wilson remained grounded, stating, "I've tried my hardest today to try and block that out. When you have a great result and you have a good win, and then It's like you're almost against the snooker gods in your next match, they just never seem to let me play anywhere half decent after a good tournament win." Despite acknowledging the challenges of maintaining momentum after a significant win, Wilson remained focused on the task at hand, prioritising his performance in the present tournament.


Addressing the short turnaround between competitions, Wilson highlighted his commitment to the game. "I had a couple of pints in the hotel bar to celebrate, but then was getting ready for Telford the day after," he shared. Looking ahead, Wilson expressed anticipation for a well-deserved rest following the tournament, emphasizing the importance of reflection and celebration.


Throughout the interview, Wilson conveyed a sense of determination to elevate his performance and strive for consistency. "I've always felt like I can go in and beat anyone," he affirmed. "The journey I'm on at the minute is in my own head to try and be a bit more consistent, try and put them good performances in more often."



Excitement for Saudi Adventure

Additionally, in response to questions regarding the recently announced Saudi Arabia 10-year partnership and the new 'fourth' Masters event, Wilson expressed excitement for the opportunities ahead. "It's already building excitement for the start of next season. It’s something great to look forward too, and with it being a 10-year deal, it’s great for the overall sport. There’s a lot of prize money to be won, so everyone will want to fight to be there. I’d be open to visiting more places around the world if we can," he remarked. 

Wilson’s Journey Continues

Gary Wilson's victory over Hossein Vafaei in the 2024 Players Championship showcases his resilience and skill on the snooker table, underscoring his unwavering commitment to excellence. As he advances to the quarterfinals, facing off against Mark Allen, Wilson's determination remains palpable, fuelled by his passion for the sport. 


Image credit: World Snooker Tour (WST)

Louis Hobbs
Louis HobbsLead Journalist

Meet Louis Hobbs, our esteemed authority on all matters sports-related. With a wealth of knowledge and experience, Louis effortlessly emerges as our go-to expert. His particular expertise in the realms of darts and snooker sets him apart and brings a level of insight that goes beyond the ordinary. Louis also holds a deep affection for all things related to US sports, with a special emphasis on basketball and American football, which stand out as his particular favorites. His content may not resonate with you, if you don't consider Lamar Jackson the most skilled player in the NFL.