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Ronnie O'Sullivan roars back but Barry Hawkins edges final frame thriller at World Snooker Championship

By John Skilbeck

Published 26/04/2016

Staying cool: Barry Hawkins on his way to victory over Ronnie O’Sullivan
Staying cool: Barry Hawkins on his way to victory over Ronnie O’Sullivan

Barry Hawkins hailed one of the best wins of his career after holding his nerve to edge Ronnie O'Sullivan in a final frame thriller and reach the World Championship quarter-finals.

Hawkins saw a 12-9 lead evaporate as the five-time world champion launched a sensational fightback to level but the Kent 37-year-old carved a break of 56 out of a scrappy final frame to nudge over the line.

His 13-12 victory gave Hawkins his first win over O'Sullivan in 14 years - and came just three months after he was humiliated 10-1 by the same player in the Masters final at Alexandra Palace.

Hawkins said: "It's definitely up there - it's so tough intimidating playing Ronnie out there and not many people can beat him over three sessions, so it is a massive confidence boost and proves I can compete with anyone.

"I was feeling the pressure big-time, but especially in the way he came back at me. He just makes it look so effortless at times and it winds you up - there's me twitching about and he's just flowing.

"I knew I had to play really well but I definitely had a different mindset from going into the Masters final. I'm just delighted to get another victory over him after 14 years - it might be 14 years before I beat him again."

O'Sullivan's stunning one-visit snooker looked set to pay off as breaks of 124 and 92 - made up of 11 reds and 11 blacks - set him on the way to clawing back a 12-9 deficit.

Of the 12 frames ultimately won by O'Sullivan, he scored four centuries and a further seven winning breaks of over 50, but the five-time champion admitted the fact his safety game was not up to scratch cost him dear.

O'Sullivan said: "I fancied my chances but when a frame goes like that it's a bit of a toss of a coin and if there was a weakness in my game it was definitely on the tactical side."

Hawkins will next face Marco Fu in the last eight while Judd Trump failed to claw back an overnight deficit against Ding Junhui, falling to a 13-10 defeat.

Belfast Telegraph

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