Selective Wilson pays the price
ELEVEN-time world champion Kelly Slater believes Coolum Beach up-and-comer Julian Wilson might have been too selective during their quarter-final clash at the Volcom Fiji Pro yesterday.
Slater, who defeated Wilson 18.57 to 7.76 en-route to his 49th title on the ASP World Tour, suggested the 23-year-old could have been hoping for too much from the left-handers at Cloudbreak after catching an impressive wave earlier in the day.
"I think maybe his expectations were a little high because the wave he got before the heat was a ridiculous wave," Slater said.
So when Wilson was waiting for a gem during competition, Slater capitalised.
"My good wave did come under Julian's priority," he said.
"He was sitting wide off the ledge and I just checked my line and he was not in the right spot. He was too far in. There were some waves sitting off the corner and they would run through the inside and I think he was looking for one of those.
"The one I caught was short and didn't have a lot of wall on the end. From where he was it would have been wasted on priority. I was deeper than him.
"I pulled in and it bounced me really violently and I just thought I'd hang in and see what happens and then I was way down at the bottom with my eyes closed and I felt the lip, and then I pulled out and I was pretty stoked (to get a 9.90)."
Slater went on to defeat CJ Hobgood (19.50 to 13.50) in the semi-finals and then Brazilian young gun Gabriel Medina (18.16 to 10.87) in the final.
"It's about time I got him," Slater said of his win over Medina.
"He had my number in the back half of last year and he'll probably go on to beat everyone for the next 20 years.
"He can do it all and I think he proved that to a lot of people this week at Restaurants and out here at Cloudbreak."
After an absence at the previous event in Rio de Janeiro, Slater's win in Fiji moves him from eighth to second on the ASP World Championship Tour ratings.
Wilson's second consecutive quarter-final appearance elevated him one spot in the ratings to ninth.
Mick Fanning leads the championship.