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Warrior anticipates tactical battle with Hawkins

Kyren Wilson is anticipating a proper Crucible battle with Barry Hawkins when they clash in the last 16 of the World Championship.

The Warrior came through his opening-round test against Scott Donaldson with flying colours, wrapping up a 10-4 victory on Thursday evening.

Taking care of a Crucible debutant was a “potential banana skin avoided”, according to the world number eight, though he will face a real examination in Sheffield specialist Hawkins.

The 2013 runner-up has reached at least the semi-final in five of the past six years at the World Championship, something Wilson appreciates.

“Barry is a fantastic match player. He has a brilliant record at the Crucible and I think the only thing missing from his resume is the trophy,” he said. “It is going to be a very tough game. I think there is going to be a lot of tactical play, as we try to out manoeuvre each other.”

Wilson himself is developing a Crucible pedigree to be proud of. He reached his maiden World Championship semi-final 12 months ago, falling just short against John Higgins by a 17-13 scoreline.

He also made the quarter-finals in the two years prior to that. Wilson tipped his cap to Scotland’s Donaldson after his win, suggesting he too can be back in Sheffield for years to come.

“That was a potential banana skin avoided. I think that’s the best way to sum it up,” he said of his opening success.

“I was on a bit of a hiding to nothing playing Scott, who is a debutant. Firstly I would just like to say I think he handled himself very well, was very professional and I’m sure he will be back here again for many years to come. For me, I’m very pleased to get the win.”

Wilson and Hawkins are inseparable at 1.85 to win their second round match, with ‘The Warrior’ 11.00 to come through on a 13-10 scoreline.

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