Zhou Yuelong RAMPANT in Neil Robertson Win | MrQ UK Championship
Hawk Downs The Juddernaut
Barry Hawkins produced a superb display to beat world number one Judd Trump 10-7 and reach the Cazoo Tour Championship semi-finals at the Celtic Manor Resort.
Hawkins gains revenge for an agonising 6-5 defeat at last month’s German Masters, where Trump battled back from the brink at 5-1 down. The Hawk now only trails Trump by one in the head-to-head, with the Bristolian leading 6-5.
Defeat ends Trump’s hopes of breaking his own record of six ranking titles in a single season. The Ace in the Pack has won five ranking events so far during this campaign with just the World Championship to go.
Hawkins now faces World Champion Ronnie O’Sullivan in the last four on Saturday. The Londoner will be hoping to transform his fortunes against the Rocket, having only beaten him twice in their 16 career meetings.
It was Hawkins who came into this evening’s concluding session with the advantage, after he emerged from this afternoon’s play with a 5-3 lead.
He extended that to a three-frame cushion when they resumed, firing in a sublime break of 121, before taking the tenth to move 7-3 in front.
Trump refused to wilt and breaks of 64 and 86 made it 7-5 at the mid-session interval. He picked up where he left off and continued to exert pressure, firing in a run of 86 to pull within a single frame.
Hawkins stopped the rot to go 8-6 ahead and a steely contribution of 61 then allowed him to move a frame from victory. Hawkins was in position to kill the game off, before breaking down on 45. That presented the opportunity for 2019 Crucible king Trump to fire in 94 and make it 9-7.
A nervy 17th frame saw both players spurn opportunities, as it came down to the colours. Hawkins eventually got himself over the line with a straight long brown to emerge the victor.
Hawkins said: “I tried my heart out, you are obviously going to in a tournament like this. I just tried to give it everything, I wanted to stay as calm as I could. That match at the German Masters came into my head a few times. I just thought that I’d played well all the way through the match today and when he left me that long brown at the end of the match, I knew I had to go for it.
“Sometimes you can’t help but get negative thoughts now and again. Everyone can play well, it is how you deal with things going wrong. Behind closed doors in the cubicles everyone plays so well. When you get on the TV table it is a different sort of game and a different sort of pressure. It is how you deal with that.
“I have to tell myself to have that self belief. I’ve just beaten the world number one, who has been dominating the game for three or four seasons. I’ve got to take that confidence into the semi-finals. I now have to focus on that Ronnie game and keep doing what I’m doing.”