Snooker: Stephen Hendry backs himself to shine in 'wild-card' comeback

The seven-time world champion has decided to take advantage of a new system which will let him pick and choose the tournaments he plays in over the next two seasons

the crucible

Stephen Hendry is poised for a sensational return to snooker next season and believes he could still compete at the top level because he sees the current standard of play in the professional game as poor.

Hendry, the seven-time world champion, retired two seasons ago after an illustrious 27-year career. But the Scot, who has won a record 36 ranking titles, has decided to take advantage of a new wild-card system which will let him pick and choose the tournaments he plays in over the next two seasons.

"Fortunately because of the standard of snooker I'd fancy myself," admitted Hendry. "If I did come back it would be for enjoyment, but I wouldn't enjoy it if I was playing shit.

"I'd need to sort my game out because I wouldn't play just for the sake of playing. I'd have to feel that my game is good enough to get a result. I wouldn't like to turn up at the Crucible and get pumped 10-2 or 10-1, that would not be enjoyable. I'd need to feel that I could at least compete if I came back. I'd still have a competitive side of me that wanted to play well."

Hendry, who has not played a ranking event for two seasons, has hinted that he could be back at the Crucible next April to compete. "The option is there and there's every chance I might fancy playing at the World Championship again," he said. "It would be amazing to play at the Crucible again. It would be a massive buzz for me.

Hendry's last Crucible match was in 2012 when he lost 13-2 to Stephen Maguire in the quarter-finals. At the same tournament he famously pocketed a maximum 147 break and knocked out four-time world champion John Higgins with a 13-4 win.

Now Hendry, as well as the six-time world champion Steve Davis – who has also been offered a wild card – could prolong his career. "I'm certainly not going back to playing loads and loads of tournaments," stressed the 45-year-old. "I still don't regret retiring."

On the table here, last year's beaten semi-finalist Judd Trump survived a spirited comeback to beat Tom Ford 10-8 to progress to the last 16.

Barry Hawkins, last year's runner-up, won eight frames in a row from 4-2 down to beat qualifier Dave Gilbert 10-4. Hong Kong's Marco Fu clinched a hard-fought 10-7 victory over another qualifier Martin Gould.

News
Emma Watson has become the latest target of the 4Chan nude hacking scandal
peopleThreats follows actress' speech on feminism and equality at the UN
Life and Style
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
British actor Idris Elba is also a DJ and rapper who played Ibiza last summer
film
Life and Style
tech
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Geena Davis, founder and chair of the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media
tv
News
Alan Bennett criticised the lack of fairness in British society encapsulated by the private school system
peopleBut he does like Stewart Lee
Sport
John Terry, Frank Lampard
footballChelsea captain sends signed shirt to fan whose mum had died
Arts and Entertainment
Rita Ora will replace Kylie Minogue as a judge on The Voice 2015
tv
Life and Style
tech
Life and Style
Alan Turing, who was convicted of gross indecency in 1952, was granted a royal pardon last year
life
Arts and Entertainment
Sheridan Smith as Cilla Black and Ed Stoppard as her manager Brian Epstein
tvCilla Episode 2 review: Grit under the glamour in part two of biopic series starring Sheridan Smith
Life and Style
life
Arts and Entertainment
Tennis player Andy Murray's mum Judy has been paired with Anton du Beke for Strictly Come Dancing. 'I'm absolutely delighted,' she said.
tvJudy Murray 'struggling' to let Anton Du Beke take control on Strictly
Life and Style
Vote with your wallet: the app can help shoppers feel more informed about items on sale
lifeNew app reveals political leanings of food companies
Sport
David Moyes and Louis van Gaal
football
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Graduate Pricing Analyst - 6 months / 1 year analytical experience

£20000 - £25000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client is curr...

Project Manager (retail, upgrades, rollouts)

£40000 - £45000 Per Annum + benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Project...

Hourly Paid Teachers

£20 - £25 per hour: Randstad Education Cheshire: randstad education are curren...

Technical Project Manager - Software and Infrastructure - Government Experience

£400 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client based in Central Lon...

Day In a Page

Secret politics of the weekly shop

The politics of the weekly shop

New app reveals political leanings of food companies
Beam me up, Scottie!

Beam me up, Scottie!

Celebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
Beware Wet Paint: The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition

Beware Wet Paint

The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition
Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Can 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition?
Sanctuary for the suicidal

Sanctuary for the suicidal

One mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits