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Hawkins soars past Williams to seal European Masters final spot

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Mark Williams v Barry Hawkins live stream | European Masters 2022 preview

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Kyren Wilson v Barry Hawkins live stream | European Masters 2022 final preview

Hawkins is through to his ninth ranking final (Taka Wu / Alamy Stock Photo)

Barry Hawkins will play Kyren Wilson in the European Masters final following an impressive 6-2 victory over Mark Williams on Saturday.

Meanwhile, Wilson held his nerve to prevail in a deciding frame after a tense battle with Ali Carter earlier at the Stadthalle in Furth.

Hawkins and Williams had each dropped just six frames this week on the way to reaching the semi-finals.

The Hawk had only beaten the Welshman once in their eight previous meetings outside the Championship League. Nevertheless, he overturned lengthy deficits to snatch the opening two frames on the pink, with Williams unable to convert decent opportunities on both occasions.

Sporting a freshly shaved head, the three-time World champion responded with a tremendous doubled black halving the deficit, before levelling on the yellow in yet another closely fought frame.

World number 12 Hawkins had also been pegged back from 2-0 up by Judd Trump in the quarter-finals, only to go into overdrive after the interval with breaks of 129, 110 and 92.

And it was a similar scenario 24 hours later, with Williams scoring just 17 points upon the resumption of play.

Indeed, the Hawk soared with runs of 67 and 89 before a magnificent 131 total clearance – his ninth century of the week – moved him to the brink of victory, which he sealed with a further contribution of 79.

Ironically, 2013 Crucible runner-up Hawkins also faced Wilson in the final of the last event to be played at the Stadthalle before the COVID-19 pandemic; prevailing 4-3 in the 2019 Paul Hunter Classic showpiece.

The Warrior will be keen to exact his revenge after battling past another former World finalist in Carter.

Appearing in his first ranking semi-final since the 2020 Northern Ireland Open, the Captain drew first blood on the black after clearing from the final red.

The second frame also came down to the final black, with Wilson levelling courtesy of a tremendous cocked-hat double on the re-spot.

A run of 71 edged the 2020 Crucible finalist ahead, but Carter responded with 120 to level once more at the interval.

World number eight Wilson regained the lead with a break of 87, before recovering from 56-21 down to snatch another frame on a re-spotted black.

Eyeing a first ranking final in three years, Carter hit back with contributions of 73 and 69 on the way to completing the turnaround and moving 5-4 to the good.

However, a timely 75 by a resilient Wilson forced a decider, which he subsequently controlled with a run of 53 helping push him over the line.

WATCH THE EUROPEAN MASTERS STREAMED LIVE HERE (18+)

European Masters 2022 Semi-Final Results

Saturday August 20

Semi-Finals

Kyren Wilson 6-5 Ali Carter
Barry Hawkins 6-2 Mark Williams