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Page last updated at 22:14 GMT, Sunday, 18 April 2010 23:14 UK

Stephen Hendry beats Zhang Anda to reach second round

Date: 17 April-3 May 2010 Venue: The Crucible, Sheffield
Coverage: Live coverage each day on BBC Two, BBC Red Button and BBC Sport website (UK only), updates on BBC Radio 5 Live. Full TV schedule

Stephen Hendry

Hendry beats Zhang in deciding frame

By Mark Ashenden
BBC Sport at the Crucible

Stephen Hendry survived a huge scare by beating China's debutant Zhang Anda in a last-frame thriller to reach the World Championship second round.

Leading 5-4 overnight, the seven-time world champion moved to 7-5 but the 18-year-old hit back with four frames.

The 41-year-old Scot then managed to stop the rot with breaks of 89, 52 and 55 to seal his mesmerising win.

Mark Selby, Hendry's next opponent, beat Ken Doherty, while Mark Allen and Joe Perry also progressed.

Hendry, 41, admitted he was in serious trouble against the promising young Chinese star.

"It's my 25th year here and the amount of times I've done that - I find something from somewhere," he said.

"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."

Zhang was making his World Championship debut after a run through qualifying which included a win over 1991 Crucible king John Parrott.

"I thought he was phenomenal. He showed no nerves. I know he's got nothing to lose and you can raise your game to the occasion, but by the same token you can freeze as well," said Hendry.

The young Chinese star, who is based in Romford and practises with Ronnie O'Sullivan, showed why he is one of the game's hottest prospects after getting within a few shots of a phenomenal upset.

Selby pleased with his play

World number 10 Hendry had been cruising at the start of this clash leading 4-0 but Zhang's fearless battling qualities, witnessed in his four qualifying matches last month, got him back to 5-4 down for Sunday's finale.

Hendry, who was last crowned world champion in 1999 when Zhang was just seven, began the evening with a break of 50, only to see the frame stolen when his unranked opponent coolly knocked in an 86.

The Scot soon settled and a 65 helped him gain a two-frame advantage but the sloppy errors continued and the "Mighty Mouse" nabbed the 13th after 30 minutes of compelling combat.

Four frames followed for Zhang, which included a 76, and he wasted a chance to secure the match in the 17th as the tension mounted inside the Crucible.

Hendry though was left to fight another day after his highest break in the tie of 89 set up his remarkable and gritty comeback, completing the job with a 55.

Mark Allen

Mark Allen falls short of 147

Earlier, two-time Masters champion Selby extended his 6-3 overnight lead by winning three of the opening four frames that included breaks of 82 and 81.

Doherty struggled to contain the world number seven and Selby secured the win after missing out on a possible 147.

"If I was to ask 150 people, not everyone's going to say I'm going to win the World Championship, but as long as in myself I believe I can win the World Championship that's the biggest thing," Selby said.

"If I play my own game and play to my capability then I know I've got every chance."

Earlier, Allen beat debutant Tom Ford 10-4 to set up a tie with Mark Davis or Ryan Day.

Allen, the world number 11 from Northern Ireland, needed only two frames after Saturday's session - and he also just missed out on a maximum 147.


However, Allen believes he needs to improve markedly in order to be considered among the front runners.

"I never felt comfortable today - I felt flat after doing all the work yesterday and I relaxed too much," said the Antrim player.

"I need to be better than that. I never felt motivated today. If I played like I did yesterday I don't fear anybody though and think I'll have a chance to win the tournament. I need to cut out the slack session."

On being five pots away from the 147, he added: "I was surprised I potted the balls because I thought my head was going to fall off I was shaking that much. It was a big moment for me."

Meanwhile, Hong Kong's Marco Fu takes a 5-4 lead into the final session of his match against England's Martin Gould on Monday and Ali Carter holds a 7-2 advantage over Jamie Cope going into their final session.

Fu was ahead 3-1 at the mid-session and hit a ton but back came Gould with his own century break, winning three out of five frames after the interval.

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see also
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Final scores from the Crucible
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Higgins edges out battler Hawkins
17 Apr 10 |  Snooker
O'Sullivan the favourite - Selby
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World Championship results
15 Apr 10 |  Snooker
Century breaks
17 Apr 10 |  Snooker
Snooker on the BBC
08 Apr 11 |  Snooker

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