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Barry Hawkins beats Stuart Carrington in round one of the Scottish Open

Barry Hawkins avoided the worst of the Scottish Open’s coronavirus chaos but admits it was a far from straightforward day at the office after booking his place in round two.

The Ditton potter toppled world No.54 Stuart Carrington 4-0 in Milton Keynes but that told far from the whole story on a manic Monday at the Marshall Arena.

Ditton's Barry Hawkins advanced at the Scottish Open Picture: World Snooker
Ditton's Barry Hawkins advanced at the Scottish Open Picture: World Snooker

Delays in receiving Covid-19 test results led to dozens of afternoon matches being postponed until the evening, resulting in a late-night pile-up that dragged on long into the early hours of the following morning.

Players are forced to wait for a negative test result before getting the green light to compete in all of snooker’s behind closed doors events since lockdown.

Hawkins, the world No.23, was due to play Carrington in the evening session anyway but believes the confusion-filled day could have hampered his chances.

“It was just nice to get on, to be honest,” the 41-year-old laughed.

“Hanging around in the players’ room is not ideal waiting for results to come in. I’m over the moon it was a negative result and I was able to play.

“It was just hanging around, and it drains you. I feel sorry for the boys hanging around all day today not knowing whether you’re going to go on.

"You plan your day and you know when you’re going on so it’s a bit frustrating, although it can’t be helped.

“I would have normally timed it perfectly, come down and had a practice, whereas none of us had a practice and it was just a matter of waiting for your test results and away you go.

“It can’t be helped – I’m pleased to get that out of the way, go away, chill and come back fresh for the next match.”

An official World Snooker Tour statement said: “The safety of players and officials at events is of the highest priority for WST.

"We have implemented a strict Covid-19 testing regime which goes above and beyond government requirements. As a result, no player is allowed to compete until a negative test has been provided.

“Testing for all players involved in Monday’s matches took place at least the day before.

"However, the late arrival of results caused a delay in the day’s matches from the 1pm session onwards.

"Matches have commenced at the earliest possible times after negative results were received.”

Games scheduled to start at 1pm did not get under way until after 6.30pm on a hectic first day of the third Home Nations event of the season.

Former World Championship finalist Hawkins navigated the storm successfully, however, as he won two scrappy frames before finding his fluency to roll in breaks of 97 and 138 and down a spirited Carrington.

Chatham’s Gerard Greene was also in first round action on Monday and while he was not affected by the testing chaos, the world No.73 went down 4-1 against reigning Shoot Out champion Michael Holt.

Holt, ranked 46 places above the Kent player, knocked in visits of 126, 113, 55 and 52 to floor veteran Greene and inflict him with a fourth first round defeat of the ranking event season.

Watch the Scottish Open live on Eurosport, Eurosport app, and stream on discovery+

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