Barry Hawkins completed a comprehensive 10-3 defeat of Tom Ford to reach the second round of the Betfred World Championship.
The Hawk is enjoying one of his most successful seasons on the World Snooker Tour. He secured silverware at the World Grand Prix, his third ranking title, with an impressive display in the final against Ryan Day, where he made five centuries during a 10-7 win. He was also runner-up at the Northern Ireland Open in Belfast.
Ford’s third trip to the Crucible ends in disappointment, following a collapse which saw him lose nine out of the ten frames from 2-1 up. It was a blistering run from the Hawk, who carried a 7-2 advantage coming into this evening’s concluding session.
The Leicester potter did open up with a break of 50 to reduce his arrears to 7-3. However, that was as good as it got for the world number 32. Ford was soon 8-3 down and despite opening the 11th frame with 67, Hawkins pinched it on the black to move one from victory. He clinched the 10-3 win and progressed to round two, where he will face Graeme Dott.
Hawkins said: “I’m delighted to get through, the first round is always a potential banana skin. I was expecting a tougher game than that, because I know how well Tom can play. This place does funny things to people, I think it got to him a little bit yesterday once I started getting in front.
“You just want to come here and win a game to feel a part of the tournament, it’s such a big event. He’s probably devastated with his performance. It was a massive frame to go 9-3, that won me the game and he had nothing left in the tank after that, I think he gave up.
“Graeme Dott will be a tough game, he’s had three finals and has won the title. He just seems to thrive in this place, some venues bring the best out in players and this place brings the best out in Graeme. Even if he’s had a terrible year he comes here and seems to play well.”
Ford was clearly downbeat after continuing his run of having never won a match at the Crucible. However, he was full of praise for his opponent.
Ford remarked: “Barry is a great player. I was speaking to Stephen Maguire when we qualified at Ponds Forge and I said I didn’t want Barry because he is such a tough opponent. When he gets in he never misses anything and his safety is spot on. You are always on the top cushion. When he gets in front it is difficult to get back.
“I just tried to go out there and make it a respectable scoreline. Because 7-2 down it is embarrassing, but Barry can beat anyone 7-2. But to make it respectable and get some frames on the board then I thought I could look at getting close and push on.”