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Ditton potter Barry Hawkins going into World Championships at the Crucible after ‘best season I have ever had’

PUBLISHED: 10:41 17 April 2017 | UPDATED: 10:41 17 April 2017

Barry Hawkins

Barry Hawkins

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The 37-year-old cueman reached the final in Sheffield back in 2013, where he lost 18-12 to Ronnie O’Sullivan

Kent’s Barry Hawkins will draw huge confidence after enjoying what he’s described as the best season of his career to date ahead of the Betfred World Championships.

The Ditton potter won the World Grand Prix in February and faces Tom Ford on Wednesday to kick-off his 2017 campaign at the Crucible in Sheffield.

The 37-year-old cueman reached the World Championship final back in 2013, where he lost 18-12 to Ronnie O’Sullivan, and is happy with where his game is currently at.

“I come into this tournament with the best season I have ever had behind me.

“It doesn’t mean I’ll play really well, I could be rubbish, but confidence-wise it’s probably as good as it’s ever been,” he said.

“My form has been pretty good, I’ve been fairly consistent all through the year.

“A couple of little blips here and there but it’s such a long year you can’t expect to be at the top of your game all year round.

“Anytime you can win a tournament I think you’ve had a pretty good season because the standard has been phenomenal lately. I’ve won a big tournament, been to a final and a few semis.”

This is the 40th year of the Snooker World Championships being held in Sheffield with reigning champion Mark Selby and Judd Trump starting the tournament as favourites.

And Hawkins hopes that the tournament, where it took him seven attempts to get past the second round, remains at the Crucible for many years to come.

“All eyes are on you, it’s the biggest tournament we play in, the most money we play for, so it’s a unique venue and it’s the best place in the world to play for me.

“I hope it stays here forever,” he added.

“Until you actually play here, there’s no words that can describe it really.

“You can miss absolutely anything out there, it’s the most pressure you’ll probably feel as a snooker player.

“I was here for five years and didn’t win a match coming up against class players.

“Unless you play really well you won’t get through in this tournament.”

Watch the Snooker World Championship LIVE on Eurosport, with Colin Murray and analysis from Jimmy White and Neal Foulds.

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