Barry Hawkins reaches the last 16 of the UK Snooker Championships with victory over Liang Wenbo
Barry Hawkins was keen to get out of York as soon as possible on
Saturday – but not before booking his place in the second round of
the UK Snooker Championships.
Hawkins (pictured), from Ditton, progressed into the last-16 by
beating Liang Wenbo 6-4 in a tight encounter, before racing away
from the Barbican for some valuable time with his family.
He made a blistering start, racking up a century break in the
first frame of the tournament with an exemplary 101 keeping Wenbo,
from China, a mere spectator.
After making it 2-0, and then leading 3-1 at the interval,
Hawkins was placed under pressure when a century break of his own
put Wenbo 4-3 ahead.
But Hawkins rallied once more and took the next three frames to
secure a meeting with either Neil Robertson or Tom Ford on
"It was a tough match, a very tough match," said the
33-year-old. "I don’t think I missed hardly anything whether that
be long balls or short pots, and Liang played really well too.
"I thought I played well throughout. I have more confidence
after winning some tournaments and I think that played a massive
part in it.
"I’m delighted to be in the next round, and it doesn’t matter
who I face I will go into it confident after beating Liang.
"Straight after winning I went straight home as I’d been away
for five or six days and wanted to go home and spend a couple of
days with the family and see my little boy and my wife.
"But I am looking forward to getting back out there and I want
to go as far as possible."
When the UK Championship seeding was decided, Hawkins was ranked
within the top 16 and therefore qualified automatically but he now
finds himself in a battle to become a permanent part of the
He is competing against the likes of Mark Davis and Martin Gould
to be inside the top 16 at the end of the competition.
Hawkins – who earlier this year won his first ranking title, the
Australian Goldfields Open – believes that heightens his need to
have a successful week in York.
"I’ve been in the top 16 before and then had a terrible season
and now the rankings are up and down all of the time," he added.
"I’m a different player now. I feel like I belong here and
hopefully I can keep playing well."
British Eurosport is the Home of Snooker, showing 19
tournaments this season including the World Championship, UK
Championship, the Masters and all ranking events, available on Sky
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