Mark Allen thrashed by Barry Hawkins at the Masters

Mark Allen was comfortably beaten by Barry Hawkins at Alexandra Palace Credit: PA

Barry Hawkins whitewashed Mark Allen 6-0 in the first round of the Masters as the past champion's dire recent form in the event continued at Alexandra Palace.

Allen won the event in 2018 but has not tasted victory in a single match since and managed a high break of just 45 against fellow left-hander Hawkins, who was runner-up to Neil Robertson last year.

Hawkins, who will face either Judd Trump or Ryan Day in the quarter-finals, recovered from a 55-0 deficit in the opening frame to win it on the colours, with breaks of 76 and 114 then extending his advantage.

Allen looked set to get on the scoreboard during a fourth frame only to overcut the brown and leave it over the corner pocket, Hawkins clearing up to move further ahead before making it 5-0 with breaks of 45 and 41.

Having recovered from 6-1 down to beat Ding Junhui 10-7 in the final of the UK Championship back in November, there was still some hope for Allen, but the Antrim man could not reproduce such heroics and Hawkins sealed a dominating victory.

A disappointed Allen was quick to pay tribute to Hawkins, telling Eurosport: "I probably should have won the first frame and had a couple of chances in frame four, other than that, I thought he was phenomenal.

"Some of his safety play was ridiculously good. There were a number of times I came to the table consecutively scratching my head, I had no shot at all.

"I said to him at the end, it's probably one of the best safety performances I've ever played against as a pro. Granted I missed a few balls as well, but you just have to credit Barry, he just froze me out. It was a phenomenal performance."

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