Barry Hawkins Triumphs Over Neil Robertson, Sets Up MrQ Masters Quarter-Final Showdown with Ronnie O’Sullivan

Barry Hawkins overcame a determined effort from Neil Robertson, securing a 6-3 victory to advance to the MrQ Masters quarter-final clash against Ronnie O’Sullivan at Alexandra Palace.

This win for Hawkins serves as redemption for his 10-4 defeat by Robertson in the 2022 Masters final. The upcoming quarter-final sets the stage for a rematch of the 2016 final, where O’Sullivan prevailed with a 10-1 victory.

Hawkins has had a stellar campaign, having already claimed the European Masters title in August. His remarkable journey included a notable 9-6 triumph over the current player of the season, Judd Trump, marking Hawkins’ first ranking silverware since 2017.

In contrast, Robertson has experienced one of his most challenging seasons, currently facing the risk of dropping out of the world’s top 16 as he sits in 32nd place in the provisional end-of-season rankings. His performance this term has not surpassed the last 32 in ranking competitions.

The evening’s opening frames were fiercely contested, lasting over an hour and concluding with the competitors tied at 1-1. Hawkins broke the deadlock in the third frame with a score of 96, extending his lead to 3-1 at the mid-session by securing the fourth frame.

After the break, Hawkins extended his lead to 4-1, but Robertson, a 23-time ranking event winner, initiated a comeback with consecutive century breaks of 117 and 110, narrowing the gap to 4-3.

However, Hawkins responded with composed contributions of 69 and 57, securing the necessary frames to close out the match 6-3 and advance to the quarter-finals.

Reflecting on the challenging match, Hawkins remarked, “It didn’t come easily tonight, and everything was a bit of a struggle. I tried my hardest, and that is all you can do out there really.”

Anticipating the quarter-final against O’Sullivan, Hawkins expressed excitement, saying, “Any time you play Ronnie is a big occasion, but even more so in this place. It is going to be electric, and I’m really looking forward to it.”

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