Thursday, 3 February 2011

Hendry rises to the big occassion

Stephen Hendry is acclaimed by many as the greatest player the sport has ever produced.

With a record seven world titles to his name, he's never been shy of the big occasion. It's just that these days, those big occasions tend to be in the early rounds of competitions, instead of the finals.

Today, the Scot faced arguably the biggest match of his season so far.

And in true Hendry fashion, he came out of it a 5-2 winner against one of snooker's young guns, 21-year-old Judd Trump.

Hendry is not the player he used to be by any stretch of the imagination. Down to number 14 in the world rankings, his slide has been alarming.

And with a large clutch of players sitting only a few ranking points outside of the elite, pressure for places is more intense than ever.

It's not long now until the Welsh Open, which happens to be the ranking cut-off point ahead of the World Championships.

Because of this, Hendry is fighting for his life, with a Crucible place at stake. Facing Trump today, one of the many player's bidding to break into the top 16, a win was imperative for Hendry. By his own admission, he needs to start winning matches, and that's exactly what he did, and well, in Berlin.

A lot of snooker fans will have smiles on their faces today as one of the game's legends advanced to the second round.

While this victory certainly doesn't assure him of a place at the Crucible, it shows he at least has the bottle for the fight.

Well played Stephen!

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