The Ditton potter slipped past Crucible debutant Alexander Ursenbacher in his first round of the World Cup with a comfortable 10-2 victory, which made him change for an uneven season that has seen him not get past a quarterfinal in a ranking event.
These struggles led to world no. 15 fell in love with the game, but he believes the layoff has intensified his passion for snooker when he starts on a Sheffield run.
“Lockdown came at the perfect time for me,” said Hawkins, 41.
“It got to the point where I got a little tired of snooker – I’ve been playing so much in recent years that it just started to lose me a little bit.
“It was nice to put the queue away and I did not hit a ball in three months, so it was nice just to spend some time at home, even if after a month or two it got a little crazy and I wanted to get back to some kind of normalcy !
“I was really looking forward to playing again – I have a new cue now and it has given me the little extra incentive to go up to the club and practice, and a new challenge.
Lockdown definitely helped – it was a much sought after break and a much sought after time to turn off, relax and really cool off.
“When the lockdown was over I was ready to start practicing again and I really liked trying to put in the hours and go around playing some games again.”
Hawkins hit a memorable 147 maximum break at the British Championships but gave up for a second round defeat before also falling at the opening hurdles at the Masters, two of the sport’s Triple Crown events.
He found the floating movement that saw him reach the 2013 World Cup final at Crucible, but when breaks 84, 70 and 65 booked him a testing second round against second Neil Robertson.
Hawkins has an impressive record at home with snooker, having followed that competition to the finals seven years ago with four semifinals and a quarterfinal over the next five years.
Business as usual.
Barry Hawkins comfortably goes to second with a dominant 10-2 victory over Crucible debutant Alexander Ursenbacher.
It is now the tenth time in a row that he reached the last 16 🙌 #ilovesnooker pic.twitter.com/rSzmCP6bb8
– World Snooker Tour (@WeAreWST) August 5, 2020
However, he has a rotten half of the draw this year – that includes six world champions – and knows he needs to improve if he is to replicate the previous heroics from yesterday.
“It’s incredible – both halves of the draw are incredibly tough, but when you look at the bottom half you have six world champions, which is ridiculous,” he added.
I guess the underdog helps me a little but when it comes to no pressure, everyone is desperate to win the world championship so you put the pressure on yourself.
“Coming up against Neil gives his own pressure – you know he’s going to hit big breaks, so I’m looking forward to it, will see where my game is at and it’s a good test going forward.”
Eurosportand the Eurosport app. See the World Cup from July 31-August 16 with analysis from Jimmy White.“data-reactid =” 42 “>Live snooker returns to Eurosport and the Eurosport app. See the World Cup from July 31-August 16 with analysis from Jimmy White.