World Snooker Championship 2013 - Hawkins swoops to see off Selby
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Australian Open champion Barry Hawkins is in the form of his life, and today at the Crucible Theatre, Sheffield, he managed to add another impressive win to his cv, knocking out world no.1 Mark Selby 13-10 to reach his maiden Betfair World Championship quarter-final.
UK & Masters champion Selby was looking to add snooker's 'triple crown' to his collection, by winning all three major trophies in the same season. It looked as if he was going to go 10-7 clear but he missed a simple black to the middle to allow Hawkins to recover at only 9-8 behind.
Frames were shared for them to go 10-10, before nicking the next with a run of 44 and then adding the 22nd after Selby missed a long red to go one away from the win at 12-10.
Selby had another chance at a long red to keep him in the match, however he missed it allowing Dartford's Hawkins to make breaks of 44 and 52 to seal the match in emphatic style, punching the air in delight.
"I have tried so many times and lost so many close matches so to beat the world number one is brilliant," said an thrilled Hawkins. "I will be the first one to say that it was not a pretty match, neither of us could find our rhythm.
"It is my best ever result. It feels like I have won the World Championship but I have not even made it through the quarter-finals yet."
Hawkins faces another tough test in the quarterfinals, as he takes on either Mark King or Ding Junhui.
Ding is one of the bookies favourites for the tournament now as a lot of the top seeds have fallen. However it wasn't the best start for him as Essex veteran King has taken a 6-2 lead over the Chinese no.1, despite Ding making centuries of 107 and 114.
Ronnie O'Sullivan faced a familiar opponent in the shape of Ali Carter in their first second-round session today. Carter has yet to beat the defending champion at a major ranking event and has lost twice to the rocket in the final at the Crucible Theatre.
O'Sullivan looked to be running away at it when he went 3-0 up, then 5-1 with a cool century break of 125. But Carter showed the grit that won his the German Masters title earlier in the season and made breaks of 82 and 51 to ensure he would only trail 5-3 heading in the second session tomorrow.
If O'Sullivan was to beat Carter and then follow with a quarterfinal win against Stuart Bingham or Mark Davis, he could set up a mouth-watering semifinal tie against International Championship victor Judd Trump, as the youngster made it through comfortably 13-7 against Marco Fu in their match.
He made no less than three centuries of 109, 127 and 112 against Hong Kong's Fu in their first session, before pulling clear in the third session at 9-7, winning all the remaining frames with top breaks of 50, 81 and 53 to see him set up a quarterfinal match with Shaun Murphy.
"I did well to plough through in the end and win it so comfortably," said Trump. "I knew that the first frame tonight was going to be a massive frame and I ended up nicking it and from then on I had a bit of confidence and the balls seemed to go my way.
"I know a lot of seeds have gone out but I don't see the results as upsets. Going into the tournament I thought the people that haven't played as much will do well and the people that are playing every tournament would burn themselves out and that seems to be the case."
Today's Betfair World Snooker Championship report was sponsored by PJN SPORTS, the UK's number 1 supplier for snooker and pool equipment. Visit them at www.pjnsports.co.uk for all the latest deals and offers.
Here is how the draw for the quarterfinals of the Betfair World Snooker Championship is shaping up so far:
O'Sullivan 5-3 Carter v Bingham/M.Davis
Shaun Murphy v Judd Trump
Milkins/Walden v Michael White
King 6-2 Ding v Barry Hawkins