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Snooker World Championship: Stephen Hendry’s hopes end in second qualifying round |  Snooker News

Playing only the third game of his comeback after a nine-year absence from the circuit, seven-time winner Stephen Hendry had no illusions about his slim chances of fighting in the four rounds needed to return to the sport’s biggest stage. .

Last updated: 08/04/21 7:43 am

Stephen Hendry won the last of his seven world championship titles in 1999, but was unable to return to Le Creuset at the age of 52 after qualifying.

Stephen Hendry’s hopes of returning to the Crucible were dashed by China’s Xu Si in the World Championship second qualifying round in Sheffield.

Although he was only ranked one place higher than Jimmy White, who Hendry dismissed on Monday night, Xu proved an entirely different proposition with five consecutive half centuries easing his path to a 6-1 victory. .

Hendry, 52, admitted his frustration at his inability to take a chance – especially after winning a promising opening frame and gaining a 53-point advantage early in the second.

Hendry said: “I really didn’t contribute anything to the game. I kicked the ball terribly tonight and it really drains your confidence.

“I didn’t expect to finish four games, but I was hoping after playing that game against Jimmy that I would relax a bit of form here.

“In the second frame I was on a 49-break and lost position and in the old days that frame would have been finished. But then I stuttered and it was all really downhill from there. “

Snooker World Championship: Stephen Hendry’s hopes end in second qualifying round |  Snooker News

Xu Si from China ended Hendry’s hopes of returning to the Crucible (Imaginechina via AP Images)

Xu, the world No.82, who like White was faced with the possibility of dropping the tour if he fell to defeat, looked the most nervous in an opening frame bordered by Hendry after an excellent long brown .

But the Scotsman’s frequent mistakes allowed the 23-year-old – born in 1998, three months before then-six-time champion Hendry crashed against White in the first round of the Crucible – to visibly gain confidence. .

A cool clearance of 35 punished Hendry’s mistake and brought the game down to standard, and subsequent breaks of 75, 79, 51 and 66 put everything but put the game out of Hendry’s reach.

Another chance was all Xu needed to wrap up the game with a 72 break and leave Hendry to think about the overall improvements he needed to achieve his ambition to return to the Crucible.

“The pink that I missed at the end was exactly the same pink that I missed against Jimmy, and as soon as I saw it I thought, oh my God, I’m going to do the same again,” Hendry added.

“When you don’t trust your scouting action, that’s what happens to you – each shot seems like a test rather than just chilling out and carrying on.

“There’s still not a lot of composure, and it’s a sad state of affairs, but my safety is probably the best part of my game right now.”

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