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Ditton's Barry Hawkins doesn't feel he deserves a top-16 place after heavy loss to John Higgins at the Masters

Barry Hawkins believes he doesn't deserve a top-16 place after bowing out at the first hurdle of the Masters following a comprehensive 6-1 defeat against John Higgins.

The 40-year-old was a finalist at the Alexandra Palace tournament in 2016, but he was never in the match against two-time champion Higgins.

"I’ve been to the final once before and I’m a million miles away with how I’m playing," he said.

"I don’t feel like I deserve my top-16 place.

"There are a lot of players out there playing really well.

"Look at David Gilbert, he’s playing the snooker of his life at the moment, and it just goes to show that he has knuckled down, put the hours in and he deserves everything he gets.

"I need to start looking at players like that and put the hours in."

Kent snooker player Barry Hawkins
Kent snooker player Barry Hawkins

Four-time world champion Higgins started the contest in fine fettle, opening up a 4-0 lead by the mid-session interval as a whitewash was mooted.

And though Hawkins was able to get a frame on the board after the break, Higgins soon wrapped things up, with the Ditton man left questioning his credentials.

Hawkins admitted it might be time to go back to the drawing board.

"To be honest, I don’t think I’ve been knuckling down well enough," he said.

"It’s a bit of a vicious circle, because I know I need to get motivated to play well in these tournaments, but it’s just not there at the moment for some reason.

"When I go out there, I’ve just got no confidence in my game at all because I know I haven’t worked hard enough.

"I can’t put my finger on why, I’m just really struggling with it at the moment.

"I need to really have a good long look at myself and if I want to start doing well again and performing like a top-16 player, then I need to be a bit more dedicated and start to put the hours in again.

"If you don’t put the hours in, then you have no confidence and it showed here - I felt it as well.

"I seem to go through spells but, for some reason, the last year or two has been a lot worse than the other times."

Watch the London Masters live on Eurosport and Eurosport Player with analysis from Ronnie O'Sullivan, Jimmy White and Neal Foulds.

Read more: All the latest sports news in Kent

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