Neil Robertson - Barry Hawkins
Thus endeth the masters 2022
It's been great, the crowd and the matches both. Thanks for your company, and join us on Thursday for the Shoot-out!
Robertson kicks off Masters defence against Murphy, O'Sullivan faces Brecel
Neil receives a medal, collects the trophy
And raises it aloft.
With the players he's had to beat, he says this win is one of his best. He's so happy to "hear London cheer again" and confides that after declaring he'd forget all about yesterday, he had loads of messages on the topic and everyone he saw at the venue wanted to chat it through. The Masters is the first title he won after his son was born and wanted to do the same for his daughter, and reiterates that he'll miss the odd event to do what his family need him to, whether it's making more of his son's football matches - he plays in net for Cambridge United in his age-group or allowing his wife the odd lie-in. Both these lads are very sound.
A rueful Bazza says he's not too disappointed because he's had one of the best weeks of his life, unbelievable atmosphere and matches. He made too many mistakes, he reckons, which you can't do against Neil. He's chuffed his family and friends were there with him, his son especially, but thinks he's having tomorrow off the school run.
Neil Robertson beats Barry Hawkins 10-4 and is the 2022 Masters champion!
What a week it's been, and what a player he is; what a mensch he is. This final break has been superb, one of several tonight, and Barry knows he was powerless to stop that. Neil knows it too - he knows how good he is - and his daughter runs on to congratulate him, then his son. What a moment!
Robertson 9-4 Hawkins (64-0)
It's mad really: Neil needed two final-frame snookers to reach this stage, but he sneaked by the great Mark J and now look! He is the champion!
Robertson 9-4 Hawkins (53-0)
Neil should really have won more majors than he has - one world, three UK and one of these - but he still has plenty of time to sort that, even if the Cruce is where he really wants to win. And he can too - the way he stayed in front when playing sketchily, then stretched it out at the end, is proper behaviour. His potting these last few frames has been excellent, balls punished home with alarming confidence.
Robertson 9-4 Hawkins (34-0)
HAVE A LOOK! Again, Neil has to find something serious to keep his break going and absolutely massacres a long red to left corner. But he can't then get topside of the blue so can't dig into the pack, leaving him with a healthy lead and a safety shot. He opens the cluster and gets a decent white, but leaves one neat the bag ... which Barry clips into the far jaw! He doesn't quite hit it straight enough, and I'm not sure he's coming back to the table, all the more so when Neil rattles home a green.
Robertson 9-4 Hawkins (12-0)
Yeah, this jig is up. Neil leaves one, Barry misses, Neil doesn't, Neil clobbers home a magical blue to left corner. Barry has no answer to this.
Robertson 9-4 Hawkins
A run of 114 puts Neil one away and with the line in sight, he's finding his best form of the match.
Robertson 8-4 Hawkins (75-11)
Neil's only played at 80% here and he's still winning easily - that's how good he is. He clouts home a double, then mashes a red into the green pocket and from 4-3 has won five of six/
Robertson 8-4 Hawkins (51-11)
Neil takes a while to work out the opening shots of the frame, but he's quickly into stride eliminating balls. But he finds himself with no easy one, forced to send a red long to the yellow pocket, and it smashes the near jaw ... but somehow wobbles in. This frame is nearly over.
Robertson 8-4 Hawkins (1-11)
Can Basher find something? Well, he flukes a starter, sinks the yellow and splatters home a magnificent second red. But after moving onto the black, he misses with the rest and leaves an awful lot. The look on his coupon betrays a man who knows the end is near; he just hasn't scored heavily enough to compete.
OK, we're back to a finish
Robertson 8-4 Hawkins
Neil's running away now. He missed too many long pots in the afternoon, but he's grooved now, taking four frames on the spin, and I don't think Barry can play well enough to catch him. Join me again in 15 for the denouement.
Robertson 7-4 Hawkins (62-16)
Yeah, though Neil finishes on nowt, he soon clips in another beauty, and makes the frame safe.
Robertson 7-4 Hawkins (61-16)
44 in front with 51 on the table, Neil misses a red to left corner with the rest. But as ever, I'd back him to sink a long one at some point, because Barry will try to make things happen and end up leaving a few. AND HAVE A LOOK! As I type that, Neil rattles home a beauty, from halfway into left corner, and looks very strong now. More or less, the difference in this match has been his superior ability to pot difficult balls when he really needs to.
Robertson 7-4 Hawkins (47-16)
Out of nowhere, Neil misses a simple cut to left corner, his face creasing in disbelief, and Barry bags his first ball for half an hour. This is a crucial contribution, is this - if the Hawk can't win this frame, he'll be flying back to Essex forthwith. AND HE CAN'T, a black missed to left corner. He was trying to pinch a bit of the pocket to get position, but instead clunks the far knuckle. and he's in big trouble now.
Robertson 7-4 Hawkins (16-0)
A fine safety shot from Baz forces Neil to take on a long pot, and he drains it beautifully. The table isn't easy, as reds are blocking one another, but there are loose ones he can pick at to begin with and he's playing well enough now to amass a commanding lead in the frame - at least.
Robertson 7-4 Hawkins (1-0)
A fine long red to the green pocket gets Neil going - he's not buzzing yet, but he's definitely humming - and though he winds up on nowt, he's in decent shape to dictate this safety exchange.
Get well soon, legend
Robertson 7-4 Hawkins
Barry just can't get the momentum he needs to put Neil under pressure.
Robertson 6-4 Hawkins (68-0)
Neil's looking good in the balls tonight, which is problematic for Barry - he'll have to play brilliantly to get by that. On 60, needing red colour red, the Thunder wobbles one into left corner, and if he can nab the final frame of the mini-sesh, that will be exceedingly proximate to that. He does, though, miss a red to right centre with three snookers required, the crowd exhort him back to the table ... and he swipes his cue across it.
Robertson 6-4 Hawkins (10-0)
A nothing shot from Neil leaves Barry a cut to left corner; take this and he's set for the frame. But he misses, not by loads but not by nowt, Neil rolls to right middle, and this'll be a substantial lead if not 7-4.
Robertson 6-4 Hawkins (0-0)
With the white close to left corner, Barry tries for right middle and gets this close. But the ball stays out and initiates a safety exchange from the top cushion.
Robertson 6-4 Hawkins
At some point, Barry needs to win two or three on the spin. Can he follow this one up?
Robertson 6-3 Hawkins (2-74)
The colours are on their spots - save the black which is on its cushion - and Neil misses it when he has to take it on, so concedes.
Robertson 6-3 Hawkins (0-74)
Neil leaves a nails tempted to left corner - similar to the one Bazza missed when knocking the green with his arm - and this time he drains is beautifully. The brown follows, and unless he cedes two snookers, Narry has reduced his arrears.
Robertson 6-3 Hawkins (0-69)
Bazza runs out of position 69 in front with 75 left, so pokes the white towards the baulk cushion.
Robertson 6-3 Hawkins (0-63)
Better from Barry, who has now seen off five red-blacks. I don't think he's go for a maxi here, and shonuff he takes a red to middle then rolls through for blue when he might've held. He looks at ease now, and you'd expect him to seal the frame at this visit; if he doesn't, it'll be the beginning of the end.
Robertson 6-3 Hawkins (0-24)
Neil attacks a long one to left corner and gets close, but it rolls in the jaws and he'd taken the precaution of bringing the white back to baulk. Baz, though, clouts home a fine settler - diagonally to top right - and he's in decent position, taking red-blacks.
Robertson 6-3 Hawkins
Ultimately, Neil is the better player, so tin win Bazza has to play at close to his best or hope for a stinker, and neither of those things are happening.
Robertson 5-3 Hawkins (69-4)
On 58, Neil has to make a plant parallel with the top cushion, and there's a bit of a gap between the balls, but he sends it down, the pink follows, and failing snookers that's the frame.
Robertson 5-3 Hawkins (40-4)
The crowd are very pro-Baz, giving it loads when Neil miscues and goes in-off. He doesn't leave anything though, so it's just the four points, and when Barry misses a dangled tempter, Neil glides home with the rest, then sinks the pink the aforementioned miss develops.There are balls near black cush so work to do, but there's a strong favourite for this frame now.
Robertson 5-3 Hawkins (26-0)
Bazza will be fearing the worst here, but on 25 Neil has to guide a taxing one to left middle ... and does so easily. But he winds up on nowt so plays tight to the bottom cushion with a useful but non-definitive lead.
Robertson 5-3 Hawkins (7-0)
A mistake from Barry allows Neil in immediately, and he bumps balls about crafting an opportunity.
And off we go!
Here come our boyz
But not great yet. It's been exciting, but neither player is quite at their best - we'll see how it goes this evening. Though Barry will be relatively satisfied, if he doesn't start quickly he's in trouble. Join me for that at 6.45pm GMT - it's going to be a lot of fun.
Robertson 5-3 Hawkins
Before long, Barry concedes, and off the mooch.
Robertson 4-3 Hawkins (73-0)
66 in front with 67, Neil takes on a difficult black to right corner ... but he sends it down confidently ... then misses the next red! Bazze returns to the table with two snookers needed...
Robertson 4-3 Hawkins (51-0)
It's Neil in first in the final frame of the session, and it's a kind of freebie for both men; in a sense, Neil is under greater pressure, because Barry would've taken 5-3. And he's quickly faced with a pressure-pot, a tricky cut-back black taking him into the pack. Miss and he's in big trouble, but he doesn't and you now expect him to win the frame at this visit.
Robertson 4-3 Hawkins
This is the fifth frame of the match to extend beyond 20 minutes, and when Neil misses a chance for a snooker off the brown, Barry flukes it. Had he lost that he was in a right two-an, but he didn't and he's bang in the match.
Robertson 4-2 Hawkins (14-58)
Neil misses with his first attempt to lay a snooker, takes the last red with a pink, and goes again. Losing this one would hurt Bazza something fierce, but he escapes when Neil goes again.
Robertson 4-2 Hawkins (14-58)
Dicilly, Barry plays for the yellow to leave himself a plant with the rest - and really digs into it. Great shot, and the crowd roar their approval. But with the run on 46, he misses a red, and Neil returns to the table needing a snooker. He gets away with a red-black combo, and with the colours on their spots, this isn't over yet.
Robertson 4-2 Hawkins (5-18)
Thing is, Neil hasn't played that well, so it's not especially surprising when he misses a long one; a-whoopin' and a-hollerin' precedes Barry's return to the table. But he can't make it count, saved when Neil plays a poor positional shot on his first ball, which results in a long, jawsed yellow. Bazza goes again...
Robertson 4-2 Hawkins
Barry is in trouble. He'll take 5-3 if you're offering, but 6-2 and he's in a right pickle.
Robertson 3-2 Hawkins (54-16)
But faced with a difficult pink to middle, he jabs at it, and points at his temple as the ball hits the far knuckle - he knows he let that get to him. This will be 4-2.
Robertson 3-2 Hawkins (54-7)
Scary hours for Barry when Neil coaxes home a long one and gets on the black off the top cushion. That clearance feels like a crucial one, because making it and knowing how much it must've hurt Barry will have him feeling fairly happy. But what's this! He undercuts a blue to middle, and Barry is back at the table!
Robertson 3-2 Hawkins
Barry missed frame-ball twice, but he was only in to begin with because Neil missed a cinch.
Robertson 2-2 Hawkins (52-67)
Barry puts Neil in a nasty spot, having to play the red across the table without leaving it. He misses twice, leaves it ... and Barry misses frame-ball a second time to right corner, fouling with his arm on the green at the same time, handing Neil a free ball! He's not out of this yet - the final red is close to pink and black, close to right corner. But Neil thuds it in, and eventually leaves himself a tricky extension shot on the yellow ... which he clips home, just. The frame should be his from here, and this is going to have Barry feeling extremely poorly.
Robertson 2-2 Hawkins (33-60)
Excellent stuff from Bazza, who knows he probably has to win an arse-nipper from the front. As I said the table was invitingly set, but you've still gotta get rid of them and there's one halfway down the right rail slightly away from the cushion. So Barry takes that spare one in baulk, then makes an angle for it off the yellow; it's frame-ball. And he jawses it, then leaves it! This game! Can Neil steal back his own property? No he cannot, missing a red to left corner! The chase for it doth duly commence!
Robertson 2-2 Hawkins (33-1)
It's Neil in first here, and both players will know that if he can get in front, his extra fluency might be enough. He removes loose reds and has one up in baulk too, should he need it ... but then he misses from short-range into left corner, a gentle little cut parallel with the side rail, and Bazza sinks an acute one into the middle! There are a lot more pottable reds on the table now than there were just two shots ago.
Excitement in the arena is palpable, particularly for Barry - though as Mark J said earlier in the week, when player's at the table they're supporting him, and when the other player's at the table, they're supporting him. I wonder if, in a few years, we might see the atmosphere here as a watershed, and see more vocal arenas all over the place. Not that this is the first time there's been a good atmosphere at snooker, but not every player and every match, like this.
Robertson 2-2 Hawkins
Neither man is playing that well but Barry will be the happier of the two at the interval because he'll know that if he's going to win it'll probably be close and also that Neil has the artillery to blow anyone away if he gets on a roll. See you in 15 or so for the resumption.
Robertson 2-1 Hawkins (20-59)
I spoke too soon; Barry has a brutal red to the green pocket to set up a colour for frame ball ... and he absolutely nails it, right against the leather without touching the sides! Now he's level!
Robertson 2-1 Hawkins (20-45)
HAVE A LOOK! Barry overcuts a blue to right middle and leaves a longish red diagonally to right corner. This is very difficult, but Neil cues it beautifully and the frame remains in the balance, though the remaining reds are scattered ... though as I type that, one is developed off the side cushion! Aaaarggghhh! Neil misses it into the middle, also via overcut, puts the blue into the green pocket, and this will be 2-2!
Robertson 2-1 Hawkins (0-39)
But it's Neil in next and he's looking good ... until he misses a regulation black off its spot! Barry can punish him here!
Robertson 2-1 Hawkins (0-35)
Barry's having to work hard for it though, a succession of recovery pots sustaining the break until he slides off the pack and plays safe off the brown with a handy lead, knocking it safe in the process. You get the feeling we're in for a long day ad night, which is exactly how we like it.
Robertson 2-1 Hawkins (0-12)
A decent safety from Barry persuades Neil to try potting his way out of trouble, but he misses a long red - that's 2/8 for him now - and leaves a presentable opportunity.
Robertson 2-1 Hawkins
Neil misses the final red so has to make do with a 105. He'd've took it, as Ryhan Giggs would say.
Robertson 1-1 Hawkins (76-0)
We might look back at this as a crucial frame. Neil has worked this out really well and he's playing at his natural pace - I think it was Mark Selby who recently noted that of all the player on the tour, he's the one who slows most when not at one with himself. The highest break of the tournament is Bingham's 139, and there's a 142 out there...
Robertson 1-1 Hawkins (32-0)
A mistake from Bazza, rolling into the cluster and popping one out, allows Neil to get "in and around" the black spot. There's a lot of work to do to turn this into a frame-winning opportunity, but he's accumulating a handy lead in the meantime.
Robertson 1-1 Hawkins
Barry leaves one to right middle, and Neil quickly secures things by way of 50 clearance.
Robertson 0-1 Hawkins (62-7)
But it's Barry in next, a red eased to middle then a tremendous blue clouted to the yellow pocket - though it means the snooker is now to tie, not to win the frame. He doesn't get on the next red though, and shortly afterwards leaves a long one, but Neil jawses it - he's 2/6 on those so far.
Robertson 0-1 Hawkins (62-1)
Neil takes these well, a run of 41 putting him 61 in front with 59 on the table. He then runs out of position, so plays safe; I'd be surprised if he didn't soon secure the frame because with four reds remaining, three clustered, I'd be surprised if Barry didn't leave him a long one eventually.
Robertson 0-1 Hawkins (47-1)
Pure, uncut Thunder from Down Under, Robertson taking a starter from close to the blue spot and sending it left corner, the white up in baulk. He might just be the best long potter of all-time, but it'll be his short game the gets him over the line in this frame, given reds close to black cush.
Robertson 0-1 Hawkins (21-1)
But Neil's split of the pack doesn't work well - in comms, Dominic thinks he didn't dig in firmly enough - so though he manages a fine recovery red, he doesn't finish on a colour, so Barry's error costs him relatively little.
Robertson 0-1 Hawkins (20-1)
Neil leaves a long red and Barry cracks it hame, only to misses a black to left corner, cueing close to the side rail. I'm surprised he missed it but, and Neil has a starter along with the security of a black over the bag. A poor positional shot forces him to play a terrific blue which in turn allows him to eliminate a red that's blocking others, and very quickly this has become a presentable opportunity - though he's not flowing yet.
Robertson 0-1 Hawkins
Neil had chances to steal but Barry was the better player in that frame and looks comfy out there.
Robertson 0-0 Hawkins (30-56)
Barry escapes the snooker well, and when Neil leaves the white close to pink and left corner, the red over by the green pocket, he cues beautifully despite the awkward bridging and down it goes. That'll be 1-0.
Robertson 0-0 Hawkins (30-48)
Or not! I don't actually know what happened because my SkyGo crashes, but he musters just one more red and Neil has a chance to steal! But a poor red forces him to play safe, in behind the brown with just one red left, and this is a beautifully edgy start to our day.
Robertson 0-0 Hawkins (29-47)
A decent safety from Barry, leaving Neil tight on the bottom cushion, quickly forces an error, and he's back in, wobbling an eminently missable red parallel with the rail and into right corner. There's another closer to the top cushion that's even trickier, but he sends that down straight, follows it with a black, and you'd expect him to sort the frame from here.
Robertson 0-0 Hawkins (29-17)
This game! After seeing away that tremendous red, Barry misses a straightforward black when set. He doesn't leave anything though - well, not this time, soon allowing a long red to left corner to be potted off the side cushion. The reds are difficult, a pairs of clusters blocking each others and two on or close to cushions, so there's a lot of work to do here, and an error, cannoning a red, means it's soon end of break.
Robertson 0-0 Hawkins (0-17)
A mistake from Neil allows Barry to thunk in a red, but he winds up on nowt and plays safe. He won the most recent match between the two, and has also beaten Neil at the Crucible, 13-12 in a thriller, but Neil knows what it takes to win majors and, ultimately, is the better player. Still, he's the better player who's not won as many biggies as his talent demands, and when he leaves a long one to right corner, Barry drains it superbly and gets position on the pink too. That disappears, then he's about the black spot and this is a really good chance for 1-0.
The boyz baize
And the crowd go as wild as they have all week. The atmosphere is intense, and I'm sitting in a box room a couple of miles away from Ally Pally.
It's been another magnificent Masters - do any other kinds exist? - and this final should be a fitting end to it. Both finalists deployed final-frame heroics to reach this point, but Robertson was done by late afternoon and starts favourite. Hawkins, though, will still be on a buzz, and it'd be an absolute joy to see him claim his first triple-crown title. Eyes down people!
Barry Hawkins emerged from a final-frame shootout with Judd Trump on Saturday to book a Masters final showdown against Neil Robertson.
The 2019 world champion Trump was not at his best and Hawkins’ consummate matchplay saw him set up a final against Robertson at Alexandra Palace. Robertson required two snookers in the final frame to get the job done against Mark Williams in the other semi-final.
The final begins at 13:00 and expect frame-by-frame coverage here from 12:45.
'Mountain to climb' – Why Hawkins must bury Masters misery in bid to scale snooker summit
Ahead of the match, Des Kane revisits Hawkins’ last visit to a Masters final where he lost 10-1 to Ronnie O’Sullivan. Hawkins would win the first frame but then succumb 10-1, and failed to complete a break in excess of 50.
And Hawkins admitted it will be extremely tough against Robertson on Sunday.
“I’ve got a mountain to climb against Neil tomorrow," said three-times ranking event winner Hawkins.
He is an unbelievable player and you don’t fancy him to miss a ball with that cue action of his.
"I have to block all of that out, forget who I’m playing and concentrate on what I’m doing. I will enjoy every moment of it and try my best."
- 'Mountain to climb' – Why Hawkins must bury Masters misery in bid to scale snooker summit
- Broken pocket halts play in Trump vs Hawkins Masters semi-final
- 'My mates will be more spewing than me' - Williams
Schedule and results
Masters (9-16 Jan 2022)
Sun 9 Jan
- 13:00 - Yan Bingtao  4-6 Mark J Williams 
- 19:00 - Neil Robertson  6-3 Anthony McGill 
Mon 10 Jan
- 13:00 - John Higgins  6-2 Zhao Xintong 
- 19:00 - Shaun Murphy  2-6 Barry Hawkins 
Tue 11 Jan
- 13:00 - Ronnie O'Sullivan  6-1 Jack Lisowski 
- 19:00 - Mark Selby  6-3 Stephen Maguire 
Wed 12 Jan
- 13:00 - Judd Trump  6-5 Mark Allen 
- 19:00 - Kyren Wilson  6-5 Stuart Bingham 
Thu 13 Jan
- 13:00 - Neil Robertson 6-4 Ronnie O'Sullivan
- 19:00 - Mark Williams 6-5 John Higgins
Fri 14 Jan
- 13:00 - Judd Trump 6-1 Kyren Wilson
- 19:00 - Barry Hawkins 6-1 Mark Selby
Sat 15 Jan
- 13:00 - Mark Williams 5-6 Neil Robertson
- 19:00 - Judd Trump 5-6 Barry Hawkins
Sun 16 Jan
- 13:00 + 19:00 - Neil Robertson v Barry Hawkins
- - -
Stream the Masters and other top snooker live and on-demand on discovery+. You can also watch all the action live on eurosport.co.uk.
Top 10 shots of 2021/22: No. 7 – Robertson's granite green in epic Masters semi-final
Top 10 shots of 2021/22: No. 8 – Williams in the pink with masterful one-handed escape
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