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Ditton’s Barry Hawkins says 9-6 European Masters Snooker Final win over Judd Trump is one of the highlights of his career

Ditton’s Barry Hawkins described his European Masters Final win over Judd Trump as one of the best results of his career.

Hawkins, who lost last year’s European Masters Final 9-3 to Kyren Wilson, made amends for that defeat with a 9-6 victory in Nuremberg. The title is the fourth ranking crown of his career and the first since 2017.

Ditton's Barry Hawkins is back to winning ways. Picture: World Snooker
Ditton's Barry Hawkins is back to winning ways. Picture: World Snooker

“It feels amazing,” Hawkins told World Snooker. “There was a stage of the match where I thought it (a defeat) was happening again. I lost my way, but towards the end I got my focus back and it was a weird feeling.

“I started feeling calm again. It was strange. I obviously got a bit of help from Judd today which I am thankful for, because once he gets going he is so dangerous. It wasn’t a free-flowing match but it doesn’t matter at the end of the day. I’m just so happy to pick up another trophy.

“When he is coming back at you it is hard not to think the worst sometimes. It has been such a long time since I was in the winner’s enclosure. You forget how it feels. I managed to stay as calm as possible and I fell over the line in the end.”

Hawkins, who beat James Cahill, world champion Luca Brecel and Mark Selby en route to the Final, took the first two frames, a break of 72 in the latter, and then responded to win the fourth after Trump halved the deficit. A break of 108 clinched Trump’s second frame but Hawkins hit back with a run of 94 in frame six for a 4-2 lead.

The big breaks continued, Trump scoring 107 to reduce the gap to one, and hitting 60 in the eighth frame - but the Kent potter snatched it for a 5-3 interval lead.

A foul on the final black in frame nine gave Hawkins a three-frame cushion at 6-3, leaving him just three from the title, and a 53 break in the next frame made it 7-3, putting Trump in deep trouble. However the 2019 world champion reeled off three frames in a row in a test of Hawkins’ mettle.

He responded brilliantly to win the 14th frame without Trump scoring and edged a battle of wits with both players resorting to their safety game in the 15th frame to take the title and the first prize of £80,000.

“It is hard to describe the feeling,” Hawkins added. “It is massive elation and massive relief. I’ve finally won a tournament, but all of a sudden you come down again. It is back down to earth again now and on to the next one.

“It is up there with, if not the best win of my career. All the great players were here this week and the match against Selby was such a feather in my cap. It was a high-quality game and put me under so much pressure. I stood up to it and was really pleasing.”

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