Stephen Hendry gives update on snooker comeback as he skips World Championship

March 29, 2022
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Phil Haigh ✍️  

Stephen Hendry playing Snooker.
Stephen Hendry hopes to play on next season (Picture: WST)

Stephen Hendry insists his return to snooker is ‘not over yet’ but did not feel that he had put enough work in to be ready for the World Championship this season.

The seven-time world champion is coming to the end of his two-year invitational tour card, which will expire after the World Championship in Sheffield, a tournament he has not entered.

There was speculation that the decision not to enter qualifying for the Crucible could spell the end to the Scot’s comeback, but he hopes that it is not.

‘Basically, I haven’t been practicing enough and as I’ve found in the matches that I have played, if you don’t put the work in you’re not going to do yourself any justice,’ Hendry told ITV4 at the Tour Championship.

‘I had no expectation of winning tournaments, but just to be a little bit competitive.

‘I didn’t’ want to turn up to the World Championship not having played much, probably lose 6-0, 6-1 and everyone saying, “What you doing?” So I chose to leave it this year.

‘I still intend to play. Hopefully I can still play again next year and play in some events. I enjoyed being back out there. The British Open was a highlight, winning a match in front of a packed crowd was great fun. It’s not over yet.’

Hendry competing next year will now rely on him being handed another invitational tour card, which he expects to get after the likes of Jimmy White and Ken Doherty have received them.

WST chairman Barry Hearn gave Hendry the tour card and said he would continue to receive them on the one condition that he competes in events.

The King of the Crucible has played in six tournaments this season and just two last campaign, so we will see if that has been enough to see him given another chance on the main tour.

‘I would hope I’d get another wildcard,’ Hendry said at the British Open in August. ‘Jimmy keeps getting them, nothing against Jimmy he’s one of my best mates, but I would hope that the fact I’m competing that I would get another one.

‘Barry [Hearn] did say to me that as long as I play then I’ll get one, the only reason he’d take it off me is if I didn’t play at all. So I’m playing so I’d like to think I’d get one.’

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