Hawkins in confident mood

World number four Barry Hawkins (4/1 Winner of Quarter 2) is in a positive mood heading into his World Championship first-round match on Tuesday as last year’s runner-up looks to go one better.

The 34-year-old kicks off his quest for the coveted title against fellow compatriot David Gilbert (13/5 Victory against Hawkins), with the latter set to make his third-appearance in the tournament.

Hawkins arrives at the Crucible in very good form having recently won The Player’s Championship in Preston after securing a convincing 4-0 victory over practice partner Gerard Greene.

Last year’s runner-up has admitted that he is hopeful of going one better this time round, but added that Ronnie O’Sullivan is still the man to beat once again.

“There are a lot of good players, obviously, and of course there’s O’Sullivan, arguably the most naturally gifted man to have ever picked up a cue,” he said.

“Well, I don’t want to get too confident, but I’ve got as good as a chance as anybody.”

Hawkins also added that the event in Sheffield is still the biggest in the snooker world, and admitted that the stage is always set for someone to make a name for themselves.

“It’s our blue-chip event – Sheffield is absolutely buzzing when the tournament is on. It’s a chance to make a name for yourself.”

Defending champion O’Sullivan has already made a dominant start to the tournament after thrashing Robin Hull 10-4 on Saturday, with the Rocket looking in imperious touch as he eased into the second-round of the competition.

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