2024 Masters: Barry Hawkins Gears Up for Comeback

In a gripping quarterfinal clash at the 2024 MrQ Masters, Barry Hawkins faced a formidable opponent in Ronnie O'Sullivan, ultimately succumbing to a 6-3 defeat. The match unfolded in a rollercoaster of emotions, with Hawkins expressing his initial confidence, the challenges he faced, and his determination to bounce back.

2024 Masters: Barry Hawkins Gears Up for Comeback
Louis Hobbs

Written by: Louis Hobbs

(Senior Sports Writer)

Last updated: 2024-01-12

5 minutes read

Missed Opportunities Haunt Hawkins

In the high-stakes arena of Alexandra Palace, Barry Hawkins faced a formidable challenge against snooker maestro Ronnie O'Sullivan. With a record of two-time runner-up in the prestigious tournament, Hawkins entered the match with a resilient spirit. The contest kicked off with O'Sullivan securing the opening frame through an impressive 88 break, setting a tone of intense competition. However, Hawkins quickly showcased his own prowess, responding with impressive runs of 74, 56, and 47. The left-hander's exceptional performance propelled him to a 3-2 lead shortly after the interval, setting the stage for a gripping battle between two titans. 

 

Despite this promising position, the left-hander faced a setback as he squandered several opportunities to widen the gap. Exploiting Hawkins' missed chances, O'Sullivan, aiming to end a seven-year title drought, seized control in his trademark predatory style. Displaying fine breaks of 77 and 60, O'Sullivan closed out the match with flair, advancing and positioning himself just two victories away from the coveted £250,000 first prize.

 

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Personal Mind Games

Interviewed post-match, Hawkins provided insights into the pivotal moments that shaped the outcome of the contest. At the beginning of the encounter, he spoke about the positive start, stating, "I don't what happened after that. I think we're three-two up feeling good, and then I had a couple of good chances I think to go four-two up."

 

Hawkins acknowledged the mental aspect of the game, highlighting the difficulty in maintaining focus and avoiding unnecessary pressure. He explained, "It's just sometimes your mind just quickly wanders for a little bit. You lose a little bit of focus, or you just put yourself under a little bit more extra pressure."

 

The experienced player expressed regret over missed opportunities that allowed O'Sullivan to capitalise. "You do something in a split second, you've given your chance away, and he's [Ronnie] back at the table again, and you can't believe what's happened really sometimes," lamented Hawkins.

No Excuses, Own Accountability

Despite the challenges faced on the table, Hawkins refused to make excuses, dismissing factors such as the atmosphere or table conditions. "No, I've got no excuses. I can't blame the cold, can't blame the table. It's just all my own doing really," he asserted.

 

One notable point of contention during the match was a perceived issue with the pink ball. Hawkins explained, "Yeah, pink problem. Yeah, it's, it's called twitching. That's what it's called." He attributed his struggles to not getting on the pink enough times and losing focus during crucial moments.

 

Addressing the positives from the encounter, Hawkins acknowledged the great atmosphere surrounding the match. "It was a great atmosphere. It's just disappointing that I didn't get a result. But I'll be fine, just back on the practice table for me," he stated.

Recovery and Practice

Looking ahead, Hawkins outlined his plans for recovery, emphasizing the importance of maintaining a focused and consistent approach. "Just keep keeping head down, keep working now. I didn't play loads and loads before this, so now I've got a good match under my belt. Had good hours on the table. I just need to go away and just keep working now," he shared.

 

As Hawkins returns to the practice table, his resilient attitude and commitment to improvement signal a determined effort to bounce back stronger in future competitions.

 

Image credit: World Snooker Tour (WST)

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Louis Hobbs

Louis Hobbs

Meet Louis Hobbs, our esteemed authority on all matters sports-related. With a wealth of knowledge and experience, Louis effortlessly emerges as our go-to expert. His particular expertise in the realms of darts and snooker sets him apart and brings a level of insight that goes beyond the ordinary. Louis also holds a deep affection for all things related to US sports, with a special emphasis on basketball and American football, which stand out as his particular favorites. His content may not resonate with you, if you don't consider Lamar Jackson the most skilled player in the NFL.

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