TRIUMPHANT Barry Hawkins has said he is living the dream after reaching the semi-finals of the World Championship for the first time.
Hawkins, who is enjoying his best season yet on the main tour after winning his first ranking title in Australia, made it into the last four after beating China’s Ding Junhui 13-7 on Wednesday morning.
And when the world number 15 strolls out into the crucible for his fourth match after previous wins against Jack Lisowski and Mark Selby, it will be a completely different experience with the famous arena transforming to its famous one table set up setting.
Hawkins will play Ricky Walden for a place in the final and said reaching the final stages of the Crucible was something he had dreamt of since taking up the game.
“I’ve been trying so hard for so long just to make some kind of breakthrough and I managed to do it this year in Australia,” he said. “I’ve been pretty consistent through most of this year but to come here and get to the one table set-up is like a dream come true.
“I’m delighted, not just for myself, but for everyone else around me and everybody who has helped me since I was a junior and especially people back home.
“It’s been a lot of hard work trying to deal with the pressure situations so to do it on the biggest stage of the world is unbelievable.
“I’m going to be so nervous when I come out tomorrow, I’m going to be bricking it to be fair. I’m looking forward to it, it’s what we all play for. I’ve never experienced it before so I’m sure the hairs on the back of my neck are going to stand up.”
Hawkins’ semi-final with Walden begins at 7pm on Thursday.