Hendry considering quitting

STEPHEN HENDRY was not quite ready for his carriage clock and farewells yesterday but Scotland’s seven-time world snooker champion has retirement on his mind.

After a heavy defeat to Mark Selby in the arena where he jokes he stores a spare pipe and slippers, Hendry left the Crucible to consider what his future holds.

When he gets home to Auchterarder, there will be family discussions over whether he plays on.

Hendry was careful not to make a snap decision in the wake of his 13-4 defeat to Selby in the second round of the Betfred.com World Championship — in which his opponent did a passable impersonation of the Scot in his prime, setting a new tournament record of six centuries in a match.

“I’ll decide in the summer,” the 42-year-old said. “I’m not going to decide straight away, I’ve got things to think about. We’ll see. I’ve still got the game but I haven’t got the self-belief to play with these guys.”

The acceptance that his days are over as a contender at the tournament he dominated throughout the 1990s, succeeding Steve Davis as the sport’s outstanding performer, might prove telling.

“The difference between Davis and Hendry is Davis just loves snooker and Hendry just loves winning,” John Higgins said yesterday.

The man who is arguably Scotland’s greatest sportsman of all time has had an astonishing career. With £8.8m banked in prize money, 36 ranking event titles, many more non-ranking triumphs, eight years as world number one and 10 maximum 147 breaks, to many observers he is the greatest of all time.

Whatever he decides in the coming weeks, Hendry will not walk away from snooker.

“I’ll still be involved in the sport,” he said.

Leicester potter Selby, who has been installed as the new title favourite, grew up watching Hendry dominate the game and admitted there would be some guilt if his victory ended his hero’s career.

John Higgins, Hendry’s fellow Scot, finished off Rory McLeod, advancing from 10-5 at the start of play to win 13-7 and set up a quarter-final against either Ronnie O’Sullivan, who beat Shaun Murphy 13-11.

More in this section

Sport Newsletter

Latest news from the world of sport, along with the best in opinion from our outstanding team of sports writers

Sign up