Snooker: Hendry under pressure

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The Independent Online
STEPHEN HENDRY will have his work cut out in Preston today when he seeks to reverse the tide of mediocrity and a 5-3 deficit against James Wattana in the quarter-finals of the Royal Liver Assurance UK Championship.

Indeed, but for a late rally that brought the world champion the last two frames of the evening, Wattana's requirement might be even less severe than the four frames he needs from the remaining nine.

The Thai began with a flourish, whitewashing Hendry

64-0 in the opening frame before establishing a 4-1 lead with his best break of 75. Hendry finally broke the shackles by taking frames seven and eight to give himself a fighting chance when the match resumes tonight.

John Parrott continued his impressive form when he built up a 6-2 lead over Nigel Bond. The 29-year-old, who won the title in 1991 and was runner-up to Jimmy White last year, was too strong for Bond despite being slightly below par. Should he secure the three frames required to book a fourth consecutive semi-final appearance, he will face Wattana or Hendry.

Darren Morgan, conquerer of the defending champion, Jimmy White, duly reached his first UK semi-final, defeating fellow Welshman Terry Griffiths 9-5 to set up a meeting with the winner of today's quarter-final between Steve Davis and Ronnie O'Sullivan.