Hendry defiant after another setback

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The Independent Online

Stephen Hendry will go into the World Championship at The Crucible, Sheffield, in a fortnight's time still looking for his first ranking title victory of the year after being beaten by Nigel Bond at the British Open in Plymouth yesterday.

The Scot succumbed to only his second defeat in 12 meetings with his stablemate Bond, losing their third-round match 5-4. Hendry, the five-times world champion, remained defiant after his defeat, however, and said: "What happened here will have no bearing on events at The Crucible. I haven't done well at this tournament in the last three years but have still gone on to win the world title."

Bond, runner-up to Hendry in last year's world championship, produced a stunning clearance of 59 to the pink in the deciding frame after Hendry had missed a black with six reds left when leading 38-7. "It was terrible. I couldn't make a long pot to save my life," Hendry said. "I thought I'd get another chance as we both missed so many pots throughout the match. But credit to Nigel for that clearance."

Bond's success was his first over Hendry since the 1993 Regal Welsh Open. The world No 12 from Derbyshire admitted: "I thought I'd blown it. After I'd missed a couple of reds early on I just decided to go for it.

"Stephen's beaten me so many times that I guess I owed him one. I have struggled to find my best form since the new year and it would be nice to win this event just before Sheffield."

Bond now meets Peter Ebdon today for a place in the semi-finals.