Snooker: Hendry wavers with share of maximum pot within grasp

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The Independent Online

Stephen Hendry came close to denying John Higgins the full share of his £25,000 cash bonus during his 5-0 defeat of Joe Perry at the British Open in Brighton last night.

Higgins became the first player in the game's history to make 147 breaks in successive matches on Wednesday. But Hendry had a chance to scoop £12,500 when he potted 10 reds and 10 blacks in the fifth frame of his third-round match.

The 11th red failed to find its target and Hendry looked crestfallen, despite completing a whitewash in just 70 minutes.

"I'm gutted because it was a great chance," the seven-times world champion said. "I wasn't thinking about it until the frame was safe because there were some difficult shots ­ but when I reached 72 it was on.

"John told me afterwards that he was disappointed for me. I'm sure he was!"

Hendry was presented with a succession of chances as Perry, whom he beat 9-2 in the 2001 European Open final, struggled to find form.

The Scot won the first frame on the black and made breaks of 77, 32 and 41 before his 80 in the fifth carried him through to a quarter-final meeting with Higgins.

Hendry first won the British Open in 1988 and claimed the title again in 1991 and 1999. His last major title came in Cardiff last January when he triumphed at the Regal Welsh Open.

Earlier, Ronnie O'Sullivan raced into the quarter-finals with a quickfire victory.The "Rocket" made breaks of 90, 56, 94 and 100 as he beat Australia's Quinten Hann 5-1, but the world No 3 is well aware that his main rivals are also in top form.

"I feel like I'm scrapping for my life. I'm an underdog ­ I'm kicking around looking for results," said O'Sullivan, who now meets the Irishman, Gerard Greene.