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
More than 90 years of car history are coming to an end with the abolition of the paper car-tax disc
newsThis and other facts you never knew about the paper circle - completely obsolete today
News
people'I’d rather have Fred and Rose West quote my characters on childcare'
Life and Style
The new Windows 10 Start Menu
tech
Arts and Entertainment
There has been a boom in ticket sales for female comics, according to an industry survey
comedyFirst national survey reveals Britain’s comedic tastes
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Travel
Bruce Chatwin's novel 'On the Black Hill' was set at The Vision Farm
travelOne of the finest one-day walks you could hope for - in Britain
Sport
footballManchester City 1 Roma 1: Result leaves Premier League champions in danger of not progressing
Arts and Entertainment
Gay and OK: a scene from 'Pride'
filmsUS film censors have ruled 'Pride' unfit for under-16s, though it contains no sex or violence
News
i100
Life and Style
Magic roundabouts: the gyratory system that has excited enthusiasts in Swindon
motoringJust who are the Roundabout Appreciation Society?
Arts and Entertainment
Hilary North's 'How My Life Has Changed', 2001
booksWell it was good enough for Ancient Egyptians and Picasso...
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

Commercial Litigation NQ+

Very Competitive Salary: Austen Lloyd: NORTH HAMPSHIRE NQ to MID LEVEL - An e...

MANCHESTER - SENIOR COMMERCIAL LITIGATION -

Highly Attractive Pakage: Austen Lloyd: MANCHESTER - A highly attractive oppor...

Senior Marketing Manager - Central London - £50,000

£40000 - £50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager (Campaigns, Offlin...

Head of Marketing - Acquisition & Direct Reponse Marketing

£90000 - £135000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Head of Marketing (B2C, Acquisition...

Day In a Page

Ebola outbreak: The children orphaned by the virus – then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection

The children orphaned by Ebola...

... then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection
Pride: Are censors pandering to homophobia?

Are censors pandering to homophobia?

US film censors have ruled 'Pride' unfit for under-16s, though it contains no sex or violence
The magic of roundabouts

Lords of the rings

Just who are the Roundabout Appreciation Society?
Why do we like making lists?

Notes to self: Why do we like making lists?

Well it was good enough for Ancient Egyptians and Picasso...
Hong Kong protests: A good time to open a new restaurant?

A good time to open a new restaurant in Hong Kong?

As pro-democracy demonstrators hold firm, chef Rowley Leigh, who's in the city to open a new restaurant, says you couldn't hope to meet a nicer bunch
Paris Fashion Week: Karl Lagerfeld leads a feminist riot on 'Boulevard Chanel'

Paris Fashion Week

Lagerfeld leads a feminist riot on 'Boulevard Chanel'
Bruce Chatwin's Wales: One of the finest one-day walks in Britain

Simon Calder discovers Bruce Chatwin's Wales

One of the finest one-day walks you could hope for - in Britain
10 best children's nightwear

10 best children's nightwear

Make sure the kids stay cosy on cooler autumn nights in this selection of pjs, onesies and nighties
Manchester City vs Roma: Five things we learnt from City’s draw at the Etihad

Manchester City vs Roma

Five things we learnt from City’s Champions League draw at the Etihad
Martin Hardy: Mike Ashley must act now and end the Alan Pardew reign

Trouble on the Tyne

Ashley must act now and end Pardew's reign at Newcastle, says Martin Hardy
Isis is an hour from Baghdad, the Iraq army has little chance against it, and air strikes won't help

Isis an hour away from Baghdad -

and with no sign of Iraq army being able to make a successful counter-attack
Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

The exhibition nods to rich and potentially brilliant ideas, but steps back
Last chance to see: Half the world’s animals have disappeared over the last 40 years

Last chance to see...

The Earth’s animal wildlife population has halved in 40 years
So here's why teenagers are always grumpy - and it's not what you think

Truth behind teens' grumpiness

Early school hours mess with their biological clocks
Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?

Hacked photos: the third wave

Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?