Tuesday 12 December 2017

Fu gives Hawkins reality check

Barry Hawkins (Photo: PA)
Barry Hawkins (Photo: PA)

After the high of his victory over Ronnie O'Sullivan, Barry Hawkins came crashing down to earth yesterday at the Crucible.

Hawkins withstood a stirring fightback by O'Sullivan from 12-9 to win a final-frame decider on Monday night and reach a World Championship quarter-final against Marco Fu.

But it was a case of 'after the Lord Mayor's Show' as he fell 7-1 behind in yesterday's opening session.

Fu swept the four frames before the interval with breaks of 73 in thwe first and 76 in the fourth, Hawkins having potted only 10 balls with his highest break to that point a mere 13.

And when Hawkins missed a simple red early in the first frame back, Fu cleared with 81 to go 5-0 up before Hawkins got on the board in frame six.

A 66 and a 50 clearance clinched frame seven for Fu and he added the last of the session for a comprehensive lead.

On the other table John Higgins came from behind to lead fellow Scot Alan McManus 5-3.

After an opening 63 from Higgins, McManus led 3-1 at the interval, helped by a 114 in frame two and a 95pc pot success rate.

But Higgins levelled before a 75 break took him 4-3 ahead and he also took frame eight in two visits.

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