Evening Times

Hendry anger at poor form

- By REX SYMONS

STEPHEN HENDRY admits playing snooker at the moment is “torture” despite booking his place in the second round of the Pukka Pies UK Championsh­ip in Telford.

The seven-times world champion fought back from 5-4 down to beat his old arch-rival, Steve Davis, 9-6.

But the Scot admitted he was unhappy with his performanc­e and that his form continues to frustrate him.

“Snooker is torture at the minute,” said Hendry. “It’s very frustratin­g.

“In the last frame I potted a nice long red and made a good break to win, but that’s what you’re supposed to do when you’re 8-6 up.”

However, despite not playing anywhere near his best, the Scot still managed to pocket three century breaks and earn himself a second-round showdown with Mark Selby, the former Masters and Welsh Open winner.

“It was a great atmosphere, our side of the arena was full, so we are obviously still popular,” added 40-yearold Hendry. “It shows there are still a lot of people who want to watch us play, which is nice.”

Davis was still in contention for a victory at 6-6, but Hendry won the next three frames on the spin and closed the match with a 112 clearance to keep his title hopes alive.

“At times Stephen looked vulnerable, but he still made three century breaks and that just shows why he’s such an amazing player,” reflected Davis.

“That’s the first time I’ve felt like a snooker player for a while. I felt pretty competitiv­e, but I thought even though Stephen didn’t play great, he still looked good among the balls.

“I had a chance at 6-6, but you can’t really argue because, like I said, he’s made three century breaks and won the match. I would imagine he wouldn’t be too happy with his overall standard, but he’s in the next round and he can improve.”

Davis failed to compile a break of 50 or above in the 15 frames, but Hendry had breaks of 115, 130 and 112, as well as further match runs of 47, 44, 52 and 40 to send six-times Crucible champion Davis home at the first hurdle.

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