The Masters 2022 – Barry Hawkins vs Mark Selby Tips and Betting Preview

The semi-final line up at The Masters will be completed on Friday evening when the last remaining spot gets filled as Barry Hawkins takes on the world champion Mark Selby in another cracking looking showdown at Alexandra Palace.

This tournament really came to the boil on Thursday evening and a Friday night in London is sure to generate a wonderful atmosphere for these two classy competitors to thrive on so we should be in for a wonderful night of snooker.

Barry Hawkins

Even by his own admission this hadn’t been the best of campaigns for Barry Hawkins heading into Alexandra Palace but he has always had this reputation of being a big match or big event player and matches and atmospheres rarely get any bigger than they do here. True to form he produced his best performance of the season to beat Shaun Murphy in the opening round and you could see in his interviews after the win that he has visibly taken confidence from that.

It is fair to say that Murphy wasn’t at the races in that game but you can only pot the balls that are on the table and Hawkins did that with a burst of scoring from 2-1 down which took him to a run of five frames on the bounce to see him come out as a comfortable winner. He is likely to need to play better to win this match and certainly will have to in order to win the tournament but having not played in a proper event for a month, that was a good foundation to build from.

Mark Selby

It hadn’t really been much better in terms of results so far this season for Mark Selby either. We are used to him having at least competed for titles by this stage of a campaign and often having won one or two but that hasn’t been the case so far this term. He maintains he is playing well but keeps running into players in decent form but I’m not quite as convinced he is in such good order. I sense he isn’t quite scoring to the level he needs to in order to win titles but that could come.

I mentioned ahead of his first round match against Stephen Maguire that for all Selby has won this title three times he hasn’t even made the final since 2014 so his recent record here isn’t the best. With no disrespect intended to him, he isn’t the most enjoyable to watch and that doesn’t get the juices flowing of the London crowd and that might be a reason for his indifferent recent record here. He is another who will be aiming to play better here.


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Head to head

These two friends have met on 20 previous occasions and it is Selby who has a fair lead in those past battles. He has 12 wins to the eight of Hawkins. Selby also has a very big advantage in the frame count where he heads Hawkins 96-81. This will be just the second time they have met at The Masters. Barry Hawkins won their previous meeting at this stage in 2017. They have only met three times over the best of 11 frames with Selby having the edge in those 2-1. This will be the seventh quarter final they have met each other in. They are locked at 3-3 in last eight clashes.

Betting

Close matches seem to be the order of the day in this tournament at the minute. Heading into play on Friday three of the last four matches had gone to a deciding frame and the other was 6-4 and I’m expecting plenty more of the same here too. I think Barry Hawkins played the better stuff of the two in the first round and I wouldn’t be surprised were he to win this match, however I’m also a believer that sportsmen know their own game better than anyone else and if Mark Selby suggests he is playing better that the results would highlight then I think we would be wise to expect him to come good sooner rather than later.

If I am right and Hawkins does win this match we know Selby won’t go down without a fight but actually one thing which people don’t give Hawkins enough credit for is his quality under pressure. There have been times in his career when he has been more fluent from behind rather than in front which is a pretty rare thing. We’ve seen in the last few sessions the crowd have elevated the level of both men and created the background for a great match. On a vibrant Friday night in London I expect no different here. Over 9.5 frames looks a safe selection to me.

Tips

Back Over 9.5 frames for a 3/10 stake at 2.25 with Betfair

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