Judd Trump trails 5-3 to Barry Hawkins in the quarter-final of the Tour Championship heading into Thursday's evening session.
Hawkins got off to a strong start, registering a break of 70 to put himself one up in the opening frame before settling for 90 in the second. He was well placed to hit a century, but he missed a red.
Trump showed signs of a fightback in the third as Hawkins conceded in an attritional battle by falling 74-11.
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The fourth saw Hawkins complete mishit a red, barely touching the ball, which handed advantage to Trump. The world number one went on to a break of 119 to record his 78th century of the season.
With Trump struggling to get going after the interval, Hawkins took a low scoring fifth 56-7. The Hawk then snatched the sixth on the black to restore a two-frame lead.
Momentum was with the world number 13 who secured this third frame in a row, with Trump conceding after Hawkins quickly produced a fine break of 63.
The world number one was visibly frustrated in the final frame of the session, but he responded well with a break of 98 to give him some hope ahead of the pair resuming at 19:00.

TOUR CHAMPIONSHIP SCHEDULE

Monday, March 22
John Higgins 8-10 Ronnie O'Sullivan
Tuesday, March 23
Neil Robertson 10-5 Jack Lisowski
Wednesday, March 24
Mark Selby 10-3 Kyren Wilson (1pm and 7pm)
Thursday, March 25
Judd Trump 3-5 Barry Hawkins (1pm and 7pm)
Friday, March 26
Neil Robertson v Mark Selby (1pm and 7pm)
Saturday, March 27
Trump/Hawkins v Ronnie O'Sullivan (1pm and 7pm)
Sunday, March 28
Final (1pm and 7pm)

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