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Saturday, 27 April 2013

World Championship Day Eight

Day eight at the 2013 Betfair World Championship and proof that lightening can strike twice.

When Barry Hawkins knocked out Mark Selby in the first round her last year,all the talk was of the neck injury that Selby had been suffering from and perhaps not enough credit was given to Hawkins for his performance.That certainly wont be the case this year as the Australian Open Champion produced some great snooker to eliminate the world no.1 and with it dash his hopes of winning this seasons grand slam.

This one was nip and tuck all the way and Selby came into this afternoons final session holding a slim 9-7 lead.Very often in these situations,the first frame can be vital and so it proved here with Selby missing an easy black to open a three frame lead,Hawkins capitalizing to make it 9-8.That became 9-9 shortly afterwards and although Selby retook the lead in the next,it was Hawkins again who leveled at 10-10 at the mid session interval.

The feeling throughout this match was that although Selby was always leading he just never playing at his best and Hawkins took advantage of this to take the lead in the next and make it 11-10.That became 12-10 and when Selby missed a long red in the next Hawkins pounced to win the match 13-10.

This victory caps off what has probably been Hawkins best ever season and he can be rightly proud of how ,in many ways he outSelbyed Selby here by sticking to him throughout.

For Selby,he can look back on what has been a strange season for him.If he is honest with himself hell admit that he never really played at his best but still managed to win two of the games biggest prizes,The UK Championship and The Masters,Here he looked a little jaded to me and perhaps a few weeks off now might be just what he needs.

The defeat of Selby here,along with that of Robertson earlier means that Judd Trump can become the season ending World no.1 if he win the title and that dream is still very much alive after he beat Marco Fu 13-7 to reach the quarter final.

Starting the day leading 6-2 he may have believed the hard work was done,but Fu is a tough competitor and in the second session this morning he threw everything he had at Trump to close within one at 8-7 before Trump nicked the last to go into tonight 9-7 ahead.

Coming out tonight Trump was in no mood for messing around and after a longish first frame he quickly found his form to finish off the match in clinical fashion 13-7.He will now face another one of the tournaments in form men,Shaun Murphy in what promises to be a superb quarter final clash.

In matches that got underway today Ronnie O'Sullivan holds a 5-3 lead over Ali Carter in a rematch of last years final,Carter winning the last two of that session to stay in touch  going into tomorrow afternoon and could we have another major shock on our hands as Mark King holds a 6-2 advantage over Ding Junhui going in to the second of their sessions also tomorrow.

The day though undoubtedly belongs to Barry Hawkins who at 34 reached his first world championship quarter final.

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