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Barry Hawkins loses to Neil Robertson in round two of the Snooker World Championship

Barry Hawkins fell at the second round stage of the Snooker World Championship for the second year in succession.

The Ditton potter has a fine record at the Crucible, reaching at least the quarter-finals from 2013 to 2018, but was unable to sustain a solid start against Neil Robertson.

Ditton's Barry Hawkins is out of the World Snooker Championship at the second round stage Picture: World Snooker
Ditton's Barry Hawkins is out of the World Snooker Championship at the second round stage Picture: World Snooker

Tied 8-8 going into Sunday, world no.2 Robertson dominated on their return to the table, clinching a 13-9 victory to progress into the quarter-finals.

Hawkins rued key errors in tactical play, particularly in Sunday’s final session, while paying tribute to the Australian’s enduring talent.

“I really enjoyed the match,” said the 41-year-old.

“I tried my absolute hardest and just made a few unforgivable mistakes safety-wise. I feel like Neil and the balls punished me heavily.

“I tried my best and that’s all you could ask for.

“Neil knows what it takes to win big tournaments. He’s got a great all-round game and he’s a fantastic player.

“I knew it was going to be tough, a big challenge, but I wanted to see where my game was at.

“I felt like I did OK. I made a few mistakes but over a long match, the standard was high and he was very fortunate.”

Hawkins, ranked no.15 in the world heading into the blue riband tournament, shared two tight sessions with Robertson and they were locked 8-8 ahead of the final session.

It looked set to be a nailbiter but Robertson came out far the sharper in Sunday’s action, capitalising on a Hawkins miss with the rest and firing in a half-century to go 9-8 up.

Robertson won the next two frames, making another 50 break in the 19th frame to take a 11-8 advantage.

Despite a defiant century that helped him halt the slide ahead of the mid-session interval, Hawkins lost the next two frames and succumbed 13-9.

Hawkins will change the habits of a lifetime in the coming weeks as he moves over to a one-piece cue having used his current model competitively for 26 years.

The Kent man feels a change will be as good as a rest with the new season set to begin as early as mid-September.

“This season has been a bit hit and miss and more down than up for me,” said Hawkins.

“I’ve got a new cue now, so I’m looking forward to keeping practising. I’ll have a few days off, then get back on the practice table and start trying to dedicate myself again.

“I’ve been wanting a one piece cue for a long time. I’ve had this one for 26 years and thought now is as good a time as any for a fresh challenge.

“Getting down the club practising certainly gave me that challenge in the last few weeks.

“I’m going to carry on what I’m doing, practising hard and look forward to next season.”

*Live snooker returns to Eurosport and the Eurosport app. Watch the World Championship from July 31 - August 16 with analysis from Jimmy White.

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