26 march 2021 publish date
Judd Trump played with Barry Hawkins leads in the 2021 Cazoo Tour Championship quarter-final at the Celtic Manor Resort.
Last time the pair met was at the recent German Masters. On that occasion Hawkins surrendered a 5-1 advantage to lose 6-5, as Trump went on to clinch the title. The Londoner will be hoping not to suffer a similar fate this evening.
Trump has racked up five ranking titles so far this season, with victories at the English Open, Northern Ireland Open, World Grand Prix, German Masters and Gibraltar Open. The Ace in the pack is aiming to equal his own record of six in a single campaign, which he set last season.
The Hawk flew out of the blocks this afternoon, making breaks of 70 and 90 to establish an early 2-0 advantage. However, world number one Trump hit back to pull within one, before firing in a century run of 119 to make it 2-2 at the mid-session.
Hawkins claimed the first frame when play resumed and then moved 4-2 ahead by stealing the sixth on the black. A further run of 63 saw Hawkins establish a three-frame cushion, but Trump claimed the last of the afternoon with a contribution of 98 to end at 5-3.
He extended that to a three-frame cushion when they resumed, firing in a sublime break of 121, before taking the tenth to move 7-3 in front.
Trump refused to wilt and breaks of 64 and 86 made it 7-5 at the mid-session interval. He picked up where he left off and continued to exert pressure, firing in a run of 86 to pull within a single frame.
Hawkins stopped the rot to move 8-6 ahead and a steely contribution of 61 then allowed him to move a frame from victory. Hawkins was in position to kill the game off, before breaking down on 45. That presented the opportunity for 2019 Crucible king Trump to fire in 94 and make it 9-7.
A nervy 17th frame saw both players spurn opportunities, as it came down to the colours. Hawkins eventually got himself over the line with a straight long brown to emerge the victor.
Defeat ends Trump’s hopes of breaking his own record of six ranking titles in a single season. The Ace in the Pack has won five ranking events so far during this campaign with just the World Championship to go.
Hawkins now faces World Champion Ronnie O’Sullivan in the last four on Saturday. The Londoner will be hoping to transform his fortunes against the Rocket, having only beaten him twice in their 16 career meetings.
Hawkins said: “I tried my heart out, you are obviously going to in a tournament like this. I just tried to give it everything, I wanted to stay as calm as I could. That match at the German Masters came into my head a few times. I just thought that I’d played well all the way through the match today and when he left me that long brown at the end of the match, I knew I had to go for it.
“Sometimes you can’t help but get negative thoughts now and again. Everyone can play well, it is how you deal with things going wrong. Behind closed doors in the cubicles everyone plays so well. When you get on the TV table it is a different sort of game and a different sort of pressure. It is how you deal with that.
“I have to tell myself to have that self belief. I’ve just beaten the world number one, who has been dominating the game for three or four seasons. I’ve got to take that confidence into the semi-finals. I now have to focus on that Ronnie game and keep doing what I’m doing.”
The article is based on WST.TV