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

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Hawkins soars past Williams to seal European Masters final spot

Williams and Hawkins vie for a place in Sunday’s showpiece (Imaginechina Limited / Alamy Stock Photo)

Mark Williams and Barry Hawkins face off in a battle of the left-handers for a place in the European Masters final.

A clash with Kyren Wilson awaits the winner of the second semi-final in Sunday’s showpiece at the Stadthalle in Furth.

Both players have been in dominant form this week; dropping just six frames to move to within two victories of claiming the second silverware of the season.

The head-to-head record certainly favours Williams, who has won seven of his previous eight meetings with Hawkins outside the Championship League, including that memorable 17-15 victory at this stage on the way to his 2018 Crucible triumph.

Meanwhile, a 6-4 victory at the 2018 Shanghai Masters represents the Hawk’s sole success during that span.

Williams has certainly capitalised on the huge let-off he experienced in qualifying, where he recovered from 4-2 down before producing a nerveless 62 clearance in the deciding frame to scrape past Liam Highfield on the final black.

After defeating Sanderson Lam (5-2) and Dominic Dale (5-3) earlier in the week, the three-time World champion then won 10 of 11 frames while making three centuries and a further six breaks over 50 as Zhou Yuelong and Jamie Jones were put to the sword 5-0 and 5-1 respectively.

Standing in his way of a 39th ranking final is a player seeking his ninth such appearance in Hawkins.

The world number 12 has enjoyed a timely return to form this week courtesy of his best performance since reaching last season’s Players Championship final, which has included a hugely impressive streak that saw him win 17 of a possible 18 frames.

Aaron Hill (5-2), Stuart Carrington (5-1) and Robert Milkins (5-0) were all dispatched along the way, before he produced a tremendous response to falling 3-2 behind against two-time champion Judd Trump in the quarter-finals; breaks of 129, 110 and 92 sealing a wonderful 5-3 victory.

Play gets underway at 7pm BST on Saturday with the match contested over the best of 11 frames at the Stadthalle in Furth.

WATCH THE EUROPEAN MASTERS STREAMED LIVE HERE (18+)