Snooker: Nightmare debut for Hawkins as Doherty eases into next round

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The Independent Online

Ken Doherty inflicted a nightmare Crucible debut on rising youngster Barry Hawkins when he cruised into the second round of the World Championship in Sheffield yesterday.

Hawkins, ranked No 29 in the world, has made rapid strides over the last couple of years to secure a top-10 place for next season, but will quickly want to forget his first appearance on snooker's biggest stage.

There was no sign of the trauma ahead when Hawkins won the first frame of the match, but Doherty then reeled off 10 in succession to prevail 10-1 and book a possible meeting with Matthew Stevens.

The Irishman did not need to do anything spectacular, his highest break of the match being a mere 57 as the Kent left-hander failed to produce the form that has taken him to two semi-finals this season.

"I had two bad days at the office," the 26-year-old from Beckenham said. "At first I was a bit nervous, but after that it was nothing to do with playing at the Crucible. I just couldn't perform and I can't explain why. I squandered the chances I had and it's a bad place to be when you start missing.

"Ken had nobody to beat and I'm gutted after such a good season to have performed like that," Hawkins added. "But plenty of better players than me have been bashed up. I can't wait to get home and have a pint."