Barry Hawkins admits he managed to win his first-round match at the Shanghai Masters after he secured a 6-5 win over Yan Bingtao on Monday.
The World number 10 looked in very fine form for the majority of the match, rolling in breaks of 101 and 99 within the first three frames. Also, he went ahead to add four more half-centuries.
Yan, too, was in good rhythm, though he conceded just four points while winning three frames on the spin at one stage and made a high break of 102.
However, the ingenuity he initially exhibited somewhat halted in the 11th and Final Frame when got anxious with the score at 5-5 and the finishing line was in sight.
Hawkins brought his wealth of experience to bear that he managed to produce all-important safety shots to force an error and eventually book a place in the last 16.
‘I’m obviously delighted to get through, but I’m a very lucky boy to win that last frame,’ Hawkins told World Snooker.
‘It was a great game up until now, both of us rarely missed a ball up till 5-5, then the first clear opportunity came my way and I twice a number of times, and it was a host of errors in the end.’
‘I played a number of good safeties near the end there, which gave me the opportunity to fall over the line.’
‘It was a great event, everyone was giving their all, but it was a small non-ranking event so you can’t take too much out of it,’ continued Hawkins.
‘Any time you win a tournament, it is always a great feeling, it also adds a little bit of confidence, but doing well in a competition like this is the boost of confidence you really need.
‘This is the beginning of the season for a lot of players. We have had a couple of tournaments, a big one in China, but it’s been a bit stop-start, now it’s full-on.
‘Players will be hoping to get their head down in big competitions like this and have a good run, get some games under the belt and get the season rolling.
‘I’m obviously delighted to defeat Yan there and still be playing in such a big tournament.
Higgins is available at 1.70 to defeat Hawkins, while Hawkins is backed at 2.12 to defeat the veteran.
Written by: Aruorihwo Imisa