Hawkins set to return to drawing board after Higgins defeat

Barry Hawkins was a Masters finalist in 2016.

Barry Hawkins believes that he is his own worst enemy after bowing out at the first hurdle of the Masters with a comprehensive 6-1 defeat to John Higgins. 

The 40-year-old was a finalist at the Alexandra Palace tournament back in 2016, but was never in the match against two-time champion Higgins. 

And, thoroughly downbeat in the aftermath, the Hawk admitted that it might be time to go back to the drawing board. 

“To be honest I don’t think I’ve been knuckling down well enough,” he said. 

“It’s a bit of a vicious circle, because I know I need to get motivated to play well in these tournaments, but it’s just not there at the moment for some reason. 

“When you go out there, I’ve just got no confidence in my game at all, because I know I haven’t worked hard enough. I can’t put my finger on why, I’m just really struggling with it at the moment. 

“I need to really have a good long look at myself and if I want to start doing well again and performing like a top 16 player, then I need to be a bit more dedicated and start to put the hours in again. 

“If you don’t put the hours in then you have no confidence and it showed tonight - I felt it as well. 

“I seem to go through spells, but for some reason the last year or two has been a lot worse than the other times.”

Four-time World Champion Higgins started the contest in fine fettle, opening up a 4-0 lead by the mid-session interval as a whitewash was mooted. 

And though Hawkins was able to get a frame on the board after the break, Higgins soon wrapped things up, with the Ditton native simply left questioning his credentials. 

 “I’ve been to the final once before, and I’m a million miles away with how I’m playing,” he continued. 

“I don’t feel like I deserve my top-16 place the way I feel. There are a lot of players out there playing really well. 

“Look at David Gilbert, he’s playing the snooker of his life at the moment, and it just goes to show that he has knuckled down, put the hours in and he deserves everything he gets. I need to start looking at players like that and put the hours in.”

Watch the London Masters LIVE on Eurosport and Eurosport Player with analysis from Ronnie O'Sullivan, Jimmy White and Neal Foulds.