Updated: HANGING on to his spot in the top 16 kept Barry Hawkins going when he was up against it in his game with Liang Wenbo.

The Ditton potter came flying out the blocks in his first round match up with the Chinese player – hitting a break of 101 in the opening frame on his way to a 3-1 mid-session interval lead.

But Wenbo, with breaks of 71, 68 and 102, stormed back into the match and, at that stage, looked the more likely to progress.

Hawkins showed his experience, and the form that brought him his first ranking title at the Australian Open earlier this season, and dug deep to win 6-4. Helped by some loose safety shots from Wenbo, he got over the line with some gutsy potting.

“That was a really tough game. I think I played well in the whole match,” Hawkins said. “I hardly missed anything and Liang played really well.

“I was a bit more confident under the pressure and that played a massive part in it in the end. I’m delighted.”

On the pressures of staying in the top 16, Hawkins added: “That made that match even more important. I’ve done what I had to do now.”