Barry Hawkins has movingly revealed how tragic problems in his personal and family life have been the cause of his loss of form.
The world number eight has had a struggling season with him failing to reach the later stages of tournaments throughout the campaign – until now.
However, after yesterday’s semi-final victory against Noppon Saenngkham, Hawkins revealed that the sudden and unexpected death of his brother-in-law almost a year ago “destroyed” his life in snooker was put on the back burner.
“Last April I had a belated birthday party with the family after the World Championship,” he explained.
“For the previous six months my sister’s husband had been suffering from depression. We all thought he was getting back to normal.
“That evening he was dropped at home by my dad. Sadly he took his own life. He felt like there was no way out for him. We didn’t see it coming at all.
“I was with him for an hour while the paramedics were working on him. I have never experienced anything like that and I wouldn’t want to go through it again. It absolutely destroyed me for about six months.
“I played snooker but I really wasn’t thinking about the game, my mind was elsewhere. It was very tough for my family and especially my sister and her two twins, who are eight-years-old now.
“It was devastating, so snooker had to take a back seat. In the last few months I have been trying to find my form again.
“I feel better about myself and we’re moving on. We’ll never forget what happened but at least we are dealing with it now.”
Hawkins’ loss of form meant he failed to qualify for the World Grand Prix – a title he won twelve months ago – as he was below the season’s top 32 performing players.
But victory today will see Hawkins win his fourth major ranking title and secure a spot in this year’s Champion of Champions event.
The final starts at 1pm.
Earlier this week The Old Green Baize reported how Hawkins left his suitcase at home while on the trip to Cardiff for the Welsh Open.