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Page last updated at 21:33 GMT, Sunday, 20 April 2008 22:33 UK

Beaten Lee considers retirement WORLD SNOOKER CHAMPIONSHIP
Sat 19 April to Mon 5 May Venue: Crucible Theatre, Sheffield
Coverage: Watch live on BBC One, BBC Two, BBCi and the BBC Sport website; listen on BBC Radio 5 Live

Stephen Lee
Lee played poorly in his defeat to Joe Swail in Sheffield

Stephen Lee revealed he is considering quitting snooker after crashing out of the World Championship in the first round for the second year running.

Lee, who reached the semi-finals in 2003, lost 10-4 to Northern Ireland's Joe Swail at the Crucible in Sheffield.

The 33-year-old from Trowbridge said: "I have just been making up the numbers the last two years.

"I am sick and tired of packing my suitcase only to unpack it again soon after. It's dragging me down."

Lee started the season number 10 in the world, and began the tournament as the 13th seed.

But after a season in which his only final, where he lost 10-3 to Mark Selby at the Masters, was not a ranking event, he is now certain to fall out of the top 16 for the first time in 11 years.

Lee said: "It's disappointing to say the least. I've been poor for two seasons.

"I'll wait and see whether I do quit or not but when you are putting the work in and not getting the rewards it's hard.

Once he goes away and wins a few qualifying matches he will come back

Joe Swail on Lee

"This snooker game is very cruel at times. It affects you mentally and can get on top of you quite easily."

Swail, also a former Crucible semi-finalist, added: "I think he'll change his mind, and I hope he does, but I can understand how he feels.

"I dropped from 10th to 50th in the world once and we've all felt like Stephen does. Once he goes away and wins a few qualifying matches he will come back."

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see also
Higgins books spot in round two
19 Apr 08 |  Snooker
Crucible champions
14 Apr 08 |  Snooker

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