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Below-par Hawkins trails Fu in quarters

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Barry Hawkins

2016 World Snooker Championship
Venue: The Crucible Theatre, Sheffield Dates: 16 April – 2 May
Coverage: Live on BBC TV, BBC Red Button, BBC Sport app, Connected TVs and online.

Barry Hawkins had a nightmare turnaround from his gripping victory over Ronnie O’Sullivan to trail Hong Kong’s Marco Fu 7-1 in their World Championship quarter-final.

Hawkins won a draining final-frame thriller 13-12 over the pre-tournament favourite late on Monday night.

But the Englishman was way below his best from the start against the world number 14 on Tuesday.

He scored only 31 points as he lost the first five frames.

Hawkins got on the board in frame six, but Fu easily won the last two frames to earn a six-frame advantage after the first session.

The quarter-final tie is the best of 25 frames and the second session gets under way on Wednesday at 14:30 BST.

Fu played with fluency and impressive cue ball control to take full advantage of some sloppy play by 2013 runner-up Hawkins – the only man to have made the semi-finals, when the Crucible switches to one table – in each of the last three years.

But his chances of repeating that feat appear slim after being completely outplayed by London-based Fu, who recorded three half-centuries on his way to a 5-0 lead.

World number 11 Hawkins took a scrappy sixth frame, but two half-centuries gave Fu frame seven and he rounded off the session with his sixth score of more than 50.

Higgins fights back against fellow Scot

The other afternoon match saw four-time champion John Higgins win four frames in a row to take a 5-3 lead in his all-Scottish meeting with Alan McManus.

McManus, twice a World Championship quarter-finalist in the early 1990s, lost the opener but was then in imperious form as he secured a 3-1 mid-session interval lead with breaks of 114, 78 and 56.

But the 45-year-old was out of sorts after the interval, appearing to be troubled by a neck problem.

And Higgins, who has gone on to lift the title on the last three occasions he has reached the last eight at the Crucible, made the most of some decent chances to take control.

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