Stephen Hendry believes he can play himself into title-winning form after knocking out Mark Davis to reach the 12bet.com World Open last 16.
The Scot delighted the Glasgow SECC audience with a 3-0 victory over Davis, who managed only one break in double figures.
And although the 41-year-old does not believe he is performing well enough to be considered a potential champion just now, all that could change if he posts another couple of wins.
“My confidence will come back if I have a decent run with some good performances, even just getting to a quarter or semi-final,” Hendry said.
“I haven’t got the form behind me to be able to say I’m going to win a tournament, but if I can get to the later stages then I know how to win.”
The seven-time former world champion had a break of 70 in the second frame and recognised he was playing an opponent who hardly got going.
“Mark didn’t play as well as he can, fortunately for me, and I was able to pick up the pieces,” Hendry said on worldsnooker.com.
“I’m hitting the ball well but what happens when you have no results behind you is that you lose composure. I took my eye off the object ball a couple of times when I should have won the frame in one visit.”
Hendry has not won a ranking event since 2005 but his good friend Mark Williams has a far more recent success behind him, having landed the China Open title in April, beating Ding Junhui just prior to the World Championship.
Williams and Ding both joined Hendry in the last 16 today, with Welshman Williams knocking out world number two Ali Carter 3-1 and Chinese cueist Ding brushing aside England’s Jimmy Michie 3-1 with breaks of 58, 109 and 77.
Williams, 35, had a highest break of 95, showing great composure to close out the win after losing the previous frame on a respotted black, following breaks of 72 from both he and Carter.
Englishman Carter, who won the Roewe Shanghai Masters earlier this month, failed to make it back-to-back titles.
Former world champion Williams said: “Every time I was in the balls I felt as if I was going to make a decent break.
“It’s not easy to play well in these best-of-fives and you know you could go out there, lose 3-0 and not even get a poke.”
Williams also had his say on Ronnie O’Sullivan’s antics yesterday, when the former world number one had to be persuaded to pot the final black to complete a 147 break by referee Jan Verhaas.
Williams remarked: “He should have potted the black without messing about, or played a double on it or played safe.
“But that’s why people come to watch him, to see what he’s going to do.”
Trowbridge cueman Stephen Lee joined the last-16 line-up by holding off a fightback from Chesterfield’s Nigel Bond to edge their clash 3-2, having seen a 2-0 lead evaporate.