Barry Hawkins Digs Deep To Book Masters Final Showdown With Neil Robertson

The 42-year-old beat former champion and world No2 Judd Trump 6-5 for a shot at the £250,000 first prize
10:55, 16 Jan 2022

Barry Hawkins took his place in the Masters final after coming through yet another Alexandra Palace classic late on Saturday night – digging very deep to win the last two frames and beat former champion and world No2 Judd Trump 6-5. 

The 42-year-old from Kent enjoys a certain reputation on tour…very popular, a thoroughly decent character, and an excellent player. Just occasionally the question is raised ‘Would he have won more with a bit of devil in him?’. 

Well, that was certainly present in the way world No10 Hawkins gritted his teeth and simply refused to buckle even when the Juddernaut was throwing the kitchen sink at him from 4-2 down to get to 5-4 up, one ahead with two to play, and the momentum seemingly all in his favour. 

It is a second Masters final for Hawkins, and he will hope to do rather better against Neil Robertson on Sunday than was the case against Ronnie O’Sullivan six years ago, when he lost 10-1. Last year he failed even to qualify having fallen outside the elite top 16 in the rankings. 

Hawkins, who has also beaten world No1 Mark Selby and Shaun Murphy over the past week, punched the air wildly and saluted his family and friends after rolling in the red that clinched victory in a rare and uncharacteristic show of raw emotion. 

Ahead of a final that will see him play for the £250,000 first prize and the right to lift the Paul Hunter trophy, Hawkins said: “I am almost speechless. I was so nervous at the end there, and I am so pleased. The hairs on the back of my neck were standing up, it was the best atmosphere I have ever played in. 

“I am just delighted that I could hold myself together enough to make a good break in the decider and I am absolutely buzzing to have won a match like that against a great player like Judd. 

“It means so much especially with my family here and with the atmosphere generated out there it is hard not to explode after you win such a match. It was no disrespect to Judd but I was so pumped up by the finish I had to express it, and that happened when I saw all those supporting me.

“At 4-2 up I was feeling like I had the momentum and was starting to flow. I had a great chance but lost the white a couple of times, and when I missed a red I let him back in and Judd started playing well. So to fall 5-4 down but then win the last two, I am quite pleased with myself! 

“It doesn’t happen that often for me that you play in an arena like that in front of all those people. It happens for the likes of Ronnie O’Sullivan all the time, day in and day out, but I am usually scratching around trying to get myself in there. 

“The pressure builds and builds when you get to a final frame. I was telling myself to treat it like a practice game, though that is much easier said than done. But once I had the frame won and I thought Judd wasn’t going to come back to the table I could release the emotion a bit. It seemed to get the crowd going, that’s for sure.  

“Now I have Neil in the final, and he is a robot. But I don’t care too much as I am just overjoyed to be there. I’ll go out there with the same mindset as has got me there and see what happens. And if I improve again, I have a chance. I can’t wait for it to start. 

“My son Harrison was here and after that he is definitely coming again on Sunday. He is 13 now and not seen me play in that sort of arena for a long time, so it’s great for those family and friends.” 

Trump said: “From the start I didn’t feel great, to be honest. I gave it my absolute all and battled hard to get 5-4 up after being 4-2 down. But in the last couple of frames I didn’t really get a chance.  So it wasn’t to be this evening. Barry nicked all the scrappy frames and that was key, he potted some realty key balls in those frames.” 

Former Masters champion Jimmy White said: “If Barry’s son Harrison doesn’t think he’s cool now, he probably never will! It was an amazing atmosphere and his son will have picked up on that. 

“Barry has a tough match in the final and will be second favourite, but he has been second favourite in every match – against Shaun Murphy, Mark Selby and then Judd Trump. But he has found something this week.” 

Hawkins is 2/1 to beat Robertson in the final with Betfred*

*18+ | BeGambleAware | Odds Subject To Change

x
Suggested Searches:
The Sportsman
Manchester United
Liverpool
Manchester City
Premier League
Sportsman HQ
72-76 Cross St
Manchester M2 4JG
We will not ask you to provide any personal information when using The Sportsman website. You may see advertisement banners on the site, and if you choose to visit those websites, you will accept the terms and conditions and privacy policy applicable to those websites. The link below directs you to our Group Privacy Policy, and our Data Protection Officer can be contacted by email at: DataProtection@Betfred.com

All original material is Copyright © 2019 by The Sportsman Communications Ltd.
Other material is copyright their respective owners.