Published: 00:00, 26 April 2015
| Updated: 08:27, 26 April 2015
Barry Hawkins insists the pressure-cooker environment of the Crucible Theatre brings out the best in himafter holding his nerve to book his place in the World Snooker Championship quarter-finals on Saturday.
In a back-and-forth match against Northern Ireland’s Mark Allen, the Englishman eventually reeled off the final five frames to triumph 13-11.
At 11-8 behind, things looked bleak for Hawkins but he once again demonstrated his steely resolve to come through, with his majestic 102 break in frame 23 the highlight.
That sealed a last-eight clash with either Neil Robertson or Ali Carter and, after reaching the final and semi-final for the past two years, the 36-year-old claims the magic of the Crucible always inspires him.
“I enjoy the atmosphere, there’s more pressure and it seems to focus me a bit more,” explained Hawkins. “That’s the only thing I can put my success down to but long may it continue.
“Other tournaments don’t even come close to this – the pressure and prestige that comes with it means you have to have a clear mind out there to perform.”
Meanwhile Ronnie O’Sullivan leads Matthew Stevens 5-3 after their first session despite losing his cool and smacking the table with his cue early in the session.
That show of frustration came when O’Sullivan was 2-0 behind but he went on to win five of the next six frames to leave him in a strong position ahead of Sunday’s 2.30pm resumption.
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