Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Hawk talks of Crucible dream

Barry Hawkins is living the Crucible dream.

He's through to the one table format at the World Championship for the first time ever and is having quite a time of it Sheffield.
Picture by Monique

If his 13-7 win against Ding Junhui wasn't brilliant enough, it comes after knocking out world number one Mark Selby in the last 16. This is a fine double against two of the world's very best players - and is indication of just how well he is performing.

In fact, I can't remember ever seeing Hawkins play any better.

His style has been effective and he has stayed loyal to it. He looks calm under the pressure, is holding himself together in the big moments in his match and is putting his top class opponents under the cosh with fine, accurate and consistent safety.

It's quite a simple formula but is working a treat. He's play with such control and is yet to be broken down.

Hawkins seems to be profiting from greater self-belief, which comes as a result of victory at the Australian Open early this season plus working alongside former champion Terry Griffiths.

He's hit the Crucible big time this year and is rightly delighted. Hawkins has spent most of his career wondering whether he would make it to the real top stage. He's lived through all the doubts and now finally all the years of hardwork since turning professional in 1996 are paying off.  

He looks much different in the big moments in matches and admits he feels better under pressure too. He's really settled down this season and is producing the goods.

When he spoke to the press following his quarter-final win against Ding he explained that the joy of reaching the semi-finals hadn't sunk in yet and it's just a dream come true.

He's into the final four and can feel very proud when he walks out into the arena with the entire crowd watching him. It will be a brand new experience for him and one that will definitely test his new found calmness under pressure.

He's had a fantastic couple of weeks on the biggest snooker stage and things could get better still.

Well played Barry.

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