Originally Posted by CorkerSWFC
Off to watch Mark Selby v Barry Hawkins with Robbie loving Wednesday night any else going down
Barry Hawkins is one of the most well-liked players on the snooker circuit and will be even more popular among his fellow professionals if he can knock out top-ranked Mark Selby in the world championship first round.
Selby has hit more than 200 century breaks and has reached the summit of the rankings with a string of consistent displays but fellow Briton Hawkins believes his game has risen to new heights after winning the Snooker Shootout event in January.
"I'm not scared of playing Selby," the world number 22 told Reuters in an interview ahead of Tuesday's best-of-19-frames encounter at the Crucible Theatre in the English city of Sheffield.
"I couldn't have been given a tougher first round draw but I'm looking forward to it and I've got nothing to lose. I've beaten him a few times and if I can carry on some of the form I've shown recently I'll have a good chance.
"Mark hasn't won as many tournaments as he would've liked but he's always there or thereabouts in the quarter-finals or semi-finals and he deserves to be ranked world number one," added Hawkins.
"He's under more pressure than me though. He is expected to win and he has definitely got more to lose."
Hawkins received a flood of 'well done' messages from his fellow players after landing the first prize of 32,000 pounds ($51,600) at the innovative Snooker Shootout in Blackpool.
The 32-year-old left-hander, who is coached by former world champion Terry Griffiths, won six 10-minute one-frame matches at the made-for-television event that featured 64 of the game's best players.
A typical message came from 2005 world champion Shaun Murphy who said: "I'm over the moon for Barry - one of life's good guys."
Hawkins, a member of the On Q stable of players that includes six-times world championship runner-up Jimmy White, added: "I feel more confident now than I've ever done. I did well under pressure at the Shootout.
"Even though it's a quick format I made a lot of good breaks and I was able to zone in on my game. I know it's only a one-frame shootout but any win is a good win and I've been playing really consistently recently.
"I try to be as friendly as I can on the tour and it was nice to hear those comments from all the players after my win. It's good to know people generally feel that way about me," added Hawkins.
"In sport people can sometimes get a bit big-headed if they do well and think they are better than everyone else. I just try to keep my feet on the ground and treat everyone the same."
Hawkins said he was looking forward to making his seventh successive appearance at the Crucible, the famous home of the world championship, which will witness a record number of Chinese entrants over the next two weeks.
"It is hard to explain, or put into words, how special the Crucible is," said the Englishman.
"When you go to Sheffield you can feel the buzz in the city. You walk down the street and everyone is talking about the snooker.
"Walking out in front of a full house is an unbelievably nerve-racking experience. It always takes a little while to settle down at the table but the key is to win a couple of early frames to get into the swing of things," added Hawkins.
"If you started to think about everything that surrounds the event, the live TV, the fact people are watching all around the world, you would never get out of your chair."
Hawkins's shootout win was the biggest of his career but he said he was especially pleased with the timing of his victory because he has his own June wedding to pay for.
"That 32,000 pounds has definitely come in handy ... although my partner is doing her best to spend it," he joked.
($1 = 0.6205 British pounds)