World Championship 2017: Barry Hawkins 'needs top game' to beat John Higgins

Venue: The Crucible Theatre, Sheffield Dates: 15 April - 1 May
Coverage: Watch live on BBC TV, BBC Red Button, Connected TVs, online and app.

Barry Hawkins says he will have to improve his form dramatically in the World Championship semi-finals, otherwise he will get his "bum smacked" by four-time champion John Higgins.

World number seven Hawkins, 38, has reached the last four at the Crucible in four of the past five seasons.

But the 2013 runner-up said his 13-9 win over Higgins' fellow Scot Stephen Maguire was a "struggle".

"I need to play at the top of my game to have any chance," Hawkins said.

"John has all the experience in the world here. He's a class, class player and I'm going to need to take my chances.

"If I play like I did against Stephen, then I will get my bum smacked by John."

Hawkins, who won four frames in a row from 9-9 to progress, begins his best-of-33-frames match against world number six Higgins on Friday (19:00 BST).

The winner will face either Ding Junhui or reigning champion Mark Selby, who meet in a repeat of the 2016 final.

Despite under-performing against Maguire until the latter stages, Kent-based Londoner Hawkins has had a fine season - winning the World Grand Prix, reaching the Northern Ireland Open final and making three further semi-finals.

And he can draw on an enviable record in snooker's showpiece event which now enters the one-table set-up.

He added: "The final break to win was the calmest I felt in the whole match, which was pleasing.

"Maybe it's the experience I've got here in the last few years. I just really focused and concentrated on my rhythm.

"I finished off well. I felt strong at the end. But we both struggled the whole match. It was just a battle of wills. We were both missing balls and running out of position all the time. It was really bitty. I had lady luck on my side and took advantage."

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