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Barry Hawkins faces Alexander Ursenbacher in the first round of the Snooker World Championship

Barry Hawkins gets his 2020 World Snooker Championship challenge underway on Tuesday night.

The Ditton potter meets Swiss player Alexander Ursenbacher in round one with world no.2 Neil Robertson awaiting the winner.

Ditton's Barry Hawkins in action at the Betfred World Snooker Championship in 2018 Picture: Tai Chengzhe
Ditton's Barry Hawkins in action at the Betfred World Snooker Championship in 2018 Picture: Tai Chengzhe

Hawkins heads into the tournament with a new cue after using his old one for the last 26 years. He will be up against the first player from Switzerland ever to play in the World Championship at the Crucible.

Ursenbacher, 24, produced a shock win to beat 2019 semi-finalist Gary Wilson 6-3 in the qualifiers, a performance that included a 141 break - his highest as a professional.

Kent player Hawkins, currently ranked world no.15, got back to action at the Championship League event in June, narrowly missing out on a place in the final group.

He has enjoyed a good run of form at the World Championship over the last few years. He’s made the final and four semi-finals in the last seven years but suffered a second round exit last year, losing to Kyren Wilson.

He lost to Ronnie O’Sullivan in the 2014 final, pocketing £125,000 for his troubles. The same player beat him in the semi-final the following year. Shaun Murphy beat him in the 2015 semis, Ding Junhui denied him a place in the 2017 final and Mark Williams edged him out in 2018 before going onto claim the title.

The 41-year-old has switched cues for the first time since the age of 15 but says he has kept his old one just incase.

Hawkins’ 2020 challenge gets underway at 7pm on Tuesday night. The best of 19 frames match is scheduled to conclude the following day, from 1pm.

The winner will face 2010 champion Robertson, who made it into the second round following his 10-5 win over China’s Liang Wenbo.

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