The Masters 2022: Barry Hawkins stuns lackluster Mark Selby in thrilling contest to reach semi-finals

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Barry Hawkins advanced to the Masters semi-finals for the second time with a 6-1 win over close friend and reigning world champion Mark Selby.

Hawkins started strong with a break of 58, but the next few frames were a tense affair, with neither player able to make it past half a century.

With Selby really struggling, it was Hawkins who took advantage, knowing he had to seize the opportunity, and he took a 3-1 lead at the break.

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After the break, some fluidity returned to Hawkins and he set up a 65 break to advance three frames.

“He didn’t even see the red fly off the table” – Amazing stroke of luck by Barry Hawkins

In the fifth frame, a loose break from Hawkins potentially got Selby in, but he was unlucky to find the cue ball nestled among the reds. However, the world champion came back to the table and set up a solid break until a bad miss in the far corner saw Hawkins come back to the table and get the perfect snooker with a bit of luck.

Selby missed the only open red twice but hit it straight to avoid the forfeit. However, it was a double kiss and Dominic Dale on the comment was in disbelief.

“I don’t understand why he played the double kiss shot there rather than just rolling all the way to red.”

Hawkins sank the open red but still had some work to do, and brilliantly opened up a bunch of reds on the bottom pad and leaning over it sank another one into the bottom left corner. But his luck ran out as white barreled into the remaining reds.

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Selby then fouled again after a strong safety battle between the two, and Hawkins was awarded a free ball.

It was an extremely tricky table to clean, but Hawkins landed pressure pots and did what was necessary to steal a frame that looked like Selby’s.

Selby nearly loses frame as Hawkins steals

The seventh frame saw an early re-rack when the cue ball nestled among the reds and after a bright red from Hawkins, his break ended when he tried to put the blue and back down on the table.

A tense safety battle ensued before Hawkins finally entered with a nice long red. As with previous frames, the path ahead of him was rough, but with the loud Ally Pally crowd roaring at him, he took out the rest of the reds. However, yellow proved tricky and temporarily brought an interested Selby back to the table. It didn’t last long, however, and the reigning world champion conceded, sending Hawkins to the last four where he will face another former world champion, Judd Trump.

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“To be honest, I think the scoreline flattered me,” Hawkins told Rob Walker after the game. “I cut a few frames. Mark wasn’t at the races today, he struggled and I picked him. I’m going to have my game against Judd because he’s a potting and scoring machine. I am delighted to be in the semi-finals, it was an incredible atmosphere.

“If you can’t enjoy it, you might as well go home. It’s the best atmosphere in which I have played in my entire life.

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