Hendry looks for a lucky break in Shanghai after six-year victory drought

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 03 September, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 03 September, 2011, 12:00am


Stephen Hendry, the only player to win seven world championship titles, has not given up hope of winning another tournament despite a six-year drought.

The Shanghai Masters gives him that opportunity next week.

'I don't enjoy practice as I used to. It is boring and you can't think of something new,' said the 42-year-old, whose last ranking tournament victory was in the Malta Cup.

'When you are not winning, your confidence and expectations are lowered. It is very difficult for me to get back to my level in the 90s when I used to win a lot.

'But if I step up my match practice, work hard and play more, it's still possible I can win a tournament.

'My skills are still there and nobody knows winning better than me. All it takes is one good result and then everything will come back.'

Hendry was in Hong Kong yesterday on his way to Shanghai and gave a group of young players the simple formula to success: 'Practice is the most important thing to winning.'

The winner of 36 ranking tournament titles admitted he once considered retirement because of his declining performances.

'I was upset with my form and I was not winning. It hurts me more because I used to win a lot. But snooker is all I know and if I stop, what else can I do? I still enjoy playing in competitions and I love the environment when you walk into the arena. My life is snooker.'

Hendry, who is now ranked 16th in the world, has watched the game explode in China where more than 50 million people are playing the game, according to BBC report.

But he ruled out a shift of power from the United Kingdom to China.

'Snooker has became huge in China and I travel there six or seven times a year,' he said.

'There are two ranking tournaments and other invitation and smaller tournaments. They also have many talented kids playing the game seriously. But there is a lot of pressure playing at the highest level.

'When you start, you are always the underdog with no expectation and no pressure, but once you have won a tournament the pressure comes and it becomes more difficult.

'In five or 10 years there may be four or five Chinese players in the top 16, but I sill think the UK will have the most top players.'