Snooker: Hendry quick to secure 'weird' win over Higgins

 

the crucible

Stephen Hendry won the frame he needed to complete a crushing13-4 victory over John Higgins to reach the quarter-finals of the World Championship yesterday. The seven-time champion's long-awaited first encounter here with his fellow Scot, a four-time winner in Sheffield, failed to live up to the expectations that it would go close.

Higgins played perhaps the worst session of his career on Friday evening to gift it 7-1 to Hendry. Armed with a 12-4 lead, there was no way Hendry was going to lose yesterday.

Higgins looked set to take the opening frame yesterday but missed a pink and a break of 64 from Hendry left last year's champion needing a snooker which he was unable to produce. Hendry plays another Scot, Stephen Maguire, in the last eight after he beat Joe Perry 13-7.

Hendry, the world No 23, admitted the one-sided nature of the match, and particularly the middle session, surprised him. "Last night was probably one of the strangest sessions of snooker I've played at the Crucible," he said yesterday. "I'm fortunate in the fact John's probably not played as bad in his life at the Crucible as he did then.

"You feel lucky if you get one or two chances in a frame against John. I was getting four, five or six chances. And at times I was coming to the table in shock and not really knowing what to do because it was weird. But you've just got to try to win the frames whatever way you can.

"If someone had said I would beat John Higgins 13-4 beforehand, I would have said they were nuts. I fully expected him to come out on Friday night with all guns blazing. In the end it just turned into a weird session of snooker."

Higgins was puzzled by how he played. "I have no idea what happened last [Friday] night," he admitted. "Stephen was very good in the balls, and looked back to his best, especially in the first session.

"From 5-3 I thought it would be close, but I ended up dragging him down to my level. I can't describe how bad it was. I probably have played worse, but this place can do that to you. I have seen it, it can give you your best moments but also your worst nightmares.

"Even with how bad I was feeling I thought if I could get to 10-6 I had a chance, but I missed a pink and at11-4 I knew it was over. You watch other matches and players and think 'How did they miss that?' but when you're out there and it's going wrong you can see it coming.

"Everything was hard or difficult, even simple positional shots. It's a hard thing, a tough place when you're going through turmoil."

Resuming with a lead of 11-5 yesterday morning, the world No 7 Maguire saw Perry take the first two frames. But Maguire won the next before a break of 79 confirmed his place in a fourth Crucible quarter-final in six years.

Maguire had led 5-3 after a high-quality first session which featured three consecutive century breaks – 116 from Perry, followed by two scores of 101 from Maguire – in the opening three frames.

As Perry faltered in the second session, the Scot started to dominate. "I think I finished the match by winning the second session 7-1," he said.

Ryan Day, who lost quarter-finals here in 2008 and 2009, is through to the last eight again after he beat Cao Yupeng of China 13-7, finishing the match with his second century of the evening. He awaits the winner of the match between fellow Welshman Matthew Stevens and Barry Hawkins.

Judd Trump, last year's runner-up who struggled with food poisoning in his first-round win over Dominic Dale, trails Ali Carter 5-3.

In the other unfinished match, Ronnie O'Sullivan leads Mark Williams 5-3 after grabbing the last frame.

Suggested Topics
Arts and Entertainment
Attenborough with the primates
tvWhy BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
News
Campbell: ‘Sometimes you have to be economical with the truth’
newsFormer spin doctor says MPs should study tactics of leading sports figures like José Mourinho
Sport
football
Life and Style
Agretti is often compared to its relative, samphire, though is closer in taste to spinach
food + drink
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Kelly Osbourne will play a flight attendant in Sharknado 2
people
News
Down-to-earth: Winstone isn't one for considering his 'legacy'
people
News
The dress can be seen in different colours
i100
Sport
Wes Brown is sent-off
football
Voices
Lance Corporal Joshua Leakey VC
voicesBeware of imitations, but the words of the soldier awarded the Victoria Cross were the real thing, says DJ Taylor
Life and Style
Alexander McQueen's AW 2009/10 collection during Paris Fashion Week
fashionMeet the collaborators who helped create the late designer’s notorious spectacles
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Bookkeeper / Office Co-ordinator

£9 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This role is based within a small family run ...

Recruitment Genius: Designer - Print & Digital

£28000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This Design and marketing agenc...

Recruitment Genius: Quantity Surveyor

£46000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This property investment firm are lookin...

Recruitment Genius: Telesales / Telemarketing Executive - OTE £30k / £35k plus

£18000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company specialises provid...

Day In a Page

War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

It's not easy being Green

After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

Gorillas nearly missed

BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

The Downton Abbey effect

Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

China's wild panda numbers on the up

New census reveals 17% since 2003
Barbara Woodward: Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with the growing economic superpower

Our woman in Beijing builds a new relationship

Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with growing economic power
Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer. But the only British soldier to be awarded the Victoria Cross in Afghanistan has both

Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer

Beware of imitations, but the words of the soldier awarded the Victoria Cross were the real thing, says DJ Taylor
Alexander McQueen: The catwalk was a stage for the designer's astonishing and troubling vision

Alexander McQueen's astonishing vision

Ahead of a major retrospective, Alexander Fury talks to the collaborators who helped create the late designer's notorious spectacle
New BBC series savours half a century of food in Britain, from Vesta curries to nouvelle cuisine

Dinner through the decades

A new BBC series challenged Brandon Robshaw and his family to eat their way from the 1950s to the 1990s
Philippa Perry interview: The psychotherapist on McDonald's, fancy specs and meeting Grayson Perry on an evening course

Philippa Perry interview

The psychotherapist on McDonald's, fancy specs and meeting Grayson Perry on an evening course
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef recreates the exoticism of the Indonesian stir-fry

Bill Granger's Indonesian stir-fry recipes

Our chef was inspired by the south-east Asian cuisine he encountered as a teenager
Chelsea vs Tottenham: Harry Kane was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope

Harry Kane interview

The striker was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope
The Last Word: For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?

Michael Calvin's Last Word

For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?
HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?