Barry Hawkins surprised after easing through to second round of World Championships in Sheffield
PUBLISHED: 10:59 21 April 2017
A tie with Scot Graeme Dott awaits the Ditton potter on Sunday
Kent’s Barry Hawkins admitted he was as surprised as anyone to ease through to the second round of the Betfred World Championships, where a tie with Scot Graeme Dott awaits on Sunday.
The Ditton potter led Tom Ford 7-2 after the first session and, despite losing the first frame on Thursday, compounded his advantage to romp to a 10-3 finishing score.
In truth, the damage had already been done on the first day by Hawkins, who trailed 2-1 before the Crucible got the better of Ford – who has still not made it past the first round.
But Hawkins was far from complaining, and is now set to face 2006 champion Dott for a place in the last eight in Sheffield – though the world No.7 admitted he had some sympathy for Ford after going through a similar run earlier in his career.
“I’m delighted to get through, the first round is always a banana skin and I was expecting a closer game than that because I know how well Tom plays,” he said.
“The Crucible does funny things to people and I think it got to him on the first day when I got in front and I broke the back of the match.
“I know what it’s like to have a tough record here, you just want to come here, win a game and feel part of the tournament.
“I got stronger after the first mini-session and on the second night won from a snooker, which was a big moment.”
The class of opponent only ramps up for Hawkins from here though, with a three-time finalist in Dott standing in his way of the last eight.
The Scot has already upset the applecart, knocking out Ali Carter thus far – a result that went under the radar with Judd Trump also being eliminated in the first round.
But Hawkins insists he is not one of those blind to his opponent’s ability, knowing he has to be on top form if he is to reach his fifth quarter-final in succession.
“Graeme has had three finals and won one and he’s someone who seems to thrive at this place,” he added.
“He played very well to beat Ali Carter and I’ll have to play very well to beat him, so I’m really looking forward to it.
“He’s got tons of bottle, tons of grit and determination and if he’s scoring and got a bit of confidence, he’s a handful for anybody.”
Watch the Snooker World Championship Live on Eurosport and Eurosport Player, with Colin Murray and analysis from Jimmy White and Neal Foulds.