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
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

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

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Senior Digital Marketing Consultant

£28000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Senior Digital Marketing Cons...

Recruitment Genius: Assistant Stores Keeper

£16640 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An Assistant Stores Keeper is r...

Recruitment Genius: Claims Administrator

£16000 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an excellent opportunit...

Recruitment Genius: Software Developer - C# / ASP.NET / SQL

£17000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Developer required to join a bu...

Day In a Page

'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before
'Queer saint' Peter Watson left his mark on British culture by bankrolling artworld giants

'Queer saint' who bankrolled artworld giants

British culture owes a huge debt to Peter Watson, says Michael Prodger
Pushkin Prizes: Unusual exchange programme aims to bring countries together through culture

Pushkin Prizes brings countries together

Ten Scottish schoolchildren and their Russian peers attended a creative writing workshop in the Highlands this week
14 best kids' hoodies

14 best kids' hoodies

Don't get caught out by that wind on the beach. Zip them up in a lightweight top to see them through summer to autumn
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The acceptable face of the Emirates

The acceptable face of the Emirates

Has Abu Dhabi found a way to blend petrodollars with principles, asks Robert Fisk