Snooker: Hendry survives early scare

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The Independent Online
Stephen Hendry, the world champion, came from behind to record his 14th successive victory in the second round of the German Open in Frankfurt yesterday.

The Scot made a second-frame break of 126 on his way to a 5-3 win over Malta's Tony Drago and he now faces Rod Lawler, a 24-year-old from Liverpool, in tonight's quarter- final.

Hendry, who lost three of the first four frames, admitted afterwards: "I couldn't afford to let Tony get any further ahead. It was vital for me to win the fifth frame."

That is exactly what the newly crowned UK champion did, and breaks of 79, 72 and 56 carried him through to the last eight. Hendry was only 51 points in front in the last frame, with four reds left on the table, when Drago, who had missed an easy pink, conceded.

Hendry said later: "I'm finding it difficult to get psyched up for this tournament as I was in the UK championship. However, I had to slow down the pace to keep Tony away from the table for long periods. He became very nervous because of it."

Lawler, who is currently lying 45th in the global rankings, caused an upset when he defeated the world No 5, James Wattana, 5-2.

Lawler lost the first frame and the fifth, but in between out-potted the Thai, who has yet to advance beyond the last 16 of a ranking tournament this season.