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April 12, 2021

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Stephen Hendry beats Jimmy White in ropy World Snooker Championship nostalgia-fest

3 min read


Stephen Hendry got another win over his old rival (Picture: Eurosport)

Stephen Hendry got the better of his old rival Jimmy White with a 6-3 win in the opening round of the World Snooker Championship qualifiers, but it was not exactly a memorable display of brilliance on the baize.

It was never going to be the same standard of those four Crucible finals they contested in the ’90s and it seemed that even these two, who are experienced as any in the sport, felt the nerves of the big match.

Hendry, 52, won all four of their World Championship final contests and picked up another victory here, progressing into the next round of qualifying on Wednesday night where he will play Xu Si.

White, 58, was getting visibly frustrated late in the game as he struggled to find any kind of form and even looked anguished when he played seemingly perfectly good shots.

The seven-time world champion got over the winning line just shy of 11.45pm on Monday, producing one of the rare bits of quality in the match as he knocked in a break of 52 for the win.

The two legendary figures of the sport were a million miles from the brilliant best of their peaks and they were even a substantial distance from the best snooker they can produce today as they seemed to struggle with the nerves of the occasion.

It was a match full of mistakes and neither man was showing off their best efforts in either the break-building or safety department.

There were, of course, some flashes of brilliance in there from the great men, but at times it was a tough watch, with the third frame particularly bad with Hendry winning it with a high break of seven.

The first two frames took an hour to play, with White claiming the first and the Scot immediately levelling up, before Hendry went ahead in a frame to forget.

The seven-time world champion made the first meaningful break of the match in the fourth when he managed a 53 to open up a two-frame lead for the first time.

Another scrappy frame went Hendry’s way in the fifth before he produced a bit of his old magic to pinch the sixth.

White held a 62-0 lead before missing a reasonably straightforward red on a break of 58, allowing Hendry to step in to make 66 and win the frame on the black to take a 5-1 lead.

The Whirlwind made another break of 58 in the next before breaking down, but Hendry couldn’t pounce this time and White managed to keep the game alive at 5-2.

The Londoner then grabbed the next to seemingly make the contest a dramatic one, but Hendry quelled the comeback reasonably swiftly in the ninth frame.

He did need two bites of the cherry, but the second saw him make a break of 52 to see him progress.

White now faces the prospect of dropping off tour unless he is handed another invitational tour card by WST, which chairman Barry Hearn has said he will likely receive.

Hendry moves on, and it must be remembered that this is only his second professional match in nine years after retiring in 2012. He may not have been sharp, but any win is impressive after that amount of time out.


MORE : Ronnie O’Sullivan only moans because he loves snooker, reckons Barry Hearn


MORE : Stephen Maguire expected to win the World Snooker Championship by now but dismisses ‘underachiever’ tag

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