Barry Hawkins is through to the semi-finals of the 2017 World Championship after completing a 13-9 victory over Stephen Maguire at the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield on Wednesday.
The Hawk booked his place in the Last Four of snooker’s blue-riband event for the fourth time in five years, and will face John Higgins for a place in the final.
Leading 9-7 following the conclusion of their afternoon session, world number seven Hawkins was on the back foot in the early stages.
A mistake was pounced upon by Maguire who, making his first quarter-final appearance since 2012, enjoyed a phenomenal start by producing a magnificent total clearance of 135, before controlling the next frame to level the match once more at 9-9.
However, a huge slice of good fortune in frame 19 swung the match in favour of Hawkins, as a fluke on the opening red paved the way for a brilliant total clearance of 126 to edge his nose back in front.
He then punished Maguire’s mistakes by winning two scrappy frames to move to the brink of victory, which he secured in style with a break of 77.
“The whole match was just a battle. If I’m going to take any positives, it’s that I finished off well and felt strong at the end,” Hawkins said.
“We both struggled through the whole match – it wasn’t a great standard with us missing balls and running out of position all the time.
“I had a little bit of Lady Luck on my side tonight, I managed to take advantage and I’m in the semi-final – that’s all that matters.
“I need to play at the top of my game to have any chance of getting past John – I need to take my chances, score heavier than I have been and not make too many mistakes.”
A disappointed Maguire admitted: “I just couldn’t get my nose in front – if I had, it would’ve been a different game.
“I wouldn’t go as far as saying I felt flat but I felt quite relaxed and don’t play well when I’m like that. I had to try and make something happen but it didn’t work.”