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Rib Crunch Rocks The Boat For Hawk

Wat-er terrible thing to happen…Hawkins tripped climbing on to a boat

Barry Hawkins has revealed that his start to the season has been affected by a freak boating accident which left him with a fractured rib.

The world number nine suffered the injury during a holiday before the qualifiers in June which marked the start of the 2019-20 campaign.

“We were in the Norfolk Broads on a boat,” Hawkins told the Metro. “I got on to the boat, I wasn’t even drunk, but I missed the last step and went over and smashed my side on something. It’s only just getting better and that was five weeks ago. So I wasn’t able to practise at all. It has hurt to breathe and it’s still a bit tender.”

Three-time ranking event winner Hawkins decided to play through the pain barrier at the qualifiers. He lost 4-1 to Jamie O’Neill in the Kaspersky Riga Masters then beat Jimmy White 6-3 to book his place at the International Championship in China in August.

“I got through the one I really wanted to get through in,” added the former Crucible finalist. “Obviously I’d have liked to get through them both, but I really didn’t want to miss China. I scraped through against Jimmy, it wasn’t pretty. It’s painful getting over the table with it and I hadn’t really picked up my cue beforehand.”

Hawkins was runner-up to Ronnie O’Sullivan at last season’s Shanghai Masters

Hawkins has enjoyed the chance to spend time with wife Tara and ten-year-old son Harrison during the summer break. “There’s so much travelling when the season gets underway, although the money’s good if you do well,” he said. “You can’t get time you’ve missed with family back.”

Last season, Hawkins enjoyed his best run at the invitational Shanghai Masters where he reached the final, and he also made the semi-finals of two ranking events. His next match is in the first round of the International Championship in Daqing – click here for the match schedule