Hawkins falls at the first hurdle
Hawkins falls at the first hurdle

Kent’s Barry Hawkins crashed out of the Masters as his opponent John Higgins cruised through.

Higgins, who becomes the first player from the top eight seeds to make it to the last eight, raced into a five-frame lead against the number 12 seed, with breaks of 57, 53 and 74 in the first three frames before Hawkins finally began to find his form.

40-year-old Hawkins pulled back a frame with a century break but Higgins wrapped up the win with a 59 break in the final frame to set up a quarter-final meeting with Ali Carter.

Hawkins was open about his performance afterwards, saying he had struggled to knuckle down in the practice room.

“We’ve all been there,” said Higgins of his opponent. “I think Barry was just wanting to get out of the place at the end.

“He’ll be back, he’ll be a big contender at the Worlds as he always is. It’s tough sometimes, this game.

“I missed a lot but I think half of that was maybe down to (the fact) I could see Barry was really struggling.

“It would be good to have a good run here, it really would.”