April 19, 2010

Grand Master Hendry Not Ready for his Bus Pass Just Yet

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 7:08 am

They're waiting for you Stephen.

The seven-time former winner of the World Championship looked like making a humiliating first-round exit at the hands of a player who was not even born when he landed the first of those titles in Sheffield last night and revealed afterwards that if he’d have lost he would have retired from the game.

In front of the eyes of the world including my man Si-Ting Chi-Lee Hendry looked dead and buried and destined for a life of free bus pass use, pipe and slippers and talking about the price of fish and how it’s not like the old days as his young eager opponent surged ahead to lead 9-7.

But you can’t keep the old dog down and from nowhere our Stevie produced a time defying comeback to dump the young whipper-snapper out of the championship. Finishing with breaks of 89, 52 and 55.

He said afterwards: “It’s my 25th year here and the amount of times I’ve done that – I find something from somewhere”.

“At 9-7 down I had my retirement speeches ready. I felt it just summed up a dismal season, going out in the first round of the World Championship”.

“But something just clicked and I wish I knew how to do it because if I could produce it more often I’d be in contention to win tournaments”.

“But it came just at the right time.”

Hendry - A Battler.

Hendry was serious about thinking about quitting snooker for good, but then added: “I’d probably have had to have a serious think over the summer”. So perhaps I am guilty of sensationalising things just a tad there.

“I’ve had a poor season, been struggling on, and it’s just been frustrating not to produce the form I produced in the last three frames.”

To summarise how things have gone so far. I’d say the best player on show up to now has been Mark Selby, very solid against Ken and the best he’s played in a whole match since the Masters, early signs are good for fellow Selby quarter backers, our man now goes on to meet Hendry in round 2. Ali Carter to me looked to be cueing well too, and was given countless chances to do so by Cope.

Bettingwise, the century break markets have been a bit disappointing though going under 2 on the Joe Perry match brought a return. To me the tables are playing very tight and it will be interesting to see how the top notch single ball potters Williams and O’Sullivan cope with them today.

All roll-ups are still in a healthy state and betting in running on the Hendry game last night brought a welcome boost to the kitty, for some reason I always had the feeling, even at 7-9 that he’d win and the kind of prices available to people of that opinion meant minimum risk for big returns, always the best kind of bet. Anyway, it made up for the two bad calls so far, hopefully now we can settle in for the long haul and produce consistent winners.

Tomorrow’s preview will be up a bit later today and updated as necessary. But in the meantime, a picture account of a day in the life of Si-Ting Chi-Lee at the Crucible yesterday is available by clicking here. Or why not have a go at the Mystery Player Competition by clicking here?

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