BBC SPORT Arabic Spanish Russian Chinese
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX    SEARCH 

BBC Sport
 You are in: Other Sports: Snooker: Benson and Hedges Masters 2002  
Sport Front Page
-------------------
Football
Cricket
Rugby Union
Rugby League
Tennis
Golf
Motorsport
Boxing
Athletics
Other Sports
Statistics
US Sport
Horse Racing
Snooker
Sailing
Cycling
Skiing
-------------------
Special Events
-------------------
Sports Talk
-------------------
BBC Pundits
TV & Radio
Question of Sport
-------------------
Photo Galleries
Funny Old Game
-------------------
Around The UK: 
N Ireland
Scotland
Wales

BBC Sport Academy
BBC News
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
LANGUAGES
EDITIONS

Thursday, 31 January, 2002, 10:56 GMT
Hendry seeks seventh heaven
Stephen Hendry seeks a seventh B&H title
Hendry: the most successful man in B&H history
BBC Sport Online's Chris Slegg speaks to Stephen Hendry about his chances of winning a seventh Benson and Hedges crown

It is fair to say that opponents do not head into a match against Stephen Hendry with quite the trepidation they once felt.

The seven-time world champion went two years without a ranking win until his success in the European Open in Malta last December.

But the 33-year-old from Perthshire is still the most successful player in the history of the game and is convinced he has every chance of adding to his six Benson and Hedges titles.

Added prestige

And he is desperate to end his six-year wait for a taste of Wembley glory.

His 1996 win over Ronnie O'Sullivan was the final chapter in an era which saw him take all but two of the eight Benson & Hedges titles available since 1989.

"There is no doubt that this is one of the most difficult tournaments to win," insists the Scot. "For the players it is second only to the Embassy in terms of prestige.

"But I feel I have certainly got as good a chance as anybody.

  Hendry's B&H triumphs
1989: bt J Parrott 9-6
1990: bt J Parrott 9-4
1991: bt M Hallett 9-8
1992: bt J Parrott 9-4
1993: bt J Wattana 9-5
1996: bt R O'Su'n 10-8
"It is unique in the fact that it is only the top 16 players in the world plus two wild card entries. You are constantly playing the best in the world so there are no easy matches."

Despite winning everything the game has to offer, Hendry says his appetite for the sport remains as high as ever.

Indeed, having finally put an end to that long barren spell without a tournament victory he says he now appreciates the taste of success even more.

"To get my first ranking event win in more than two years in Malta was very important. The season is going okay now. I am certainly playing far better than last season.

Chink in armour

"After that tournament I felt like I knew how to win again," he said.

Hendry followed that up by reaching the quarter-finals of the UK Championships at York later in December.

He showed occasional glimpses of his previous best in a 9-2 second round defeat of Mark Davis.

Hendry beat Ronnie O'Sullivan in the 1996 final
Stephen Hendry with the B&H trophy he last captured in 1996
But in the quarter-finals, world number one Mark Williams was able to exploit the sort of chink in Hendry's armour that would simply not have been there throughout much of the last decade.

At 8-4 down the Welshman surged back into the match to book his place in the semi-finals.

"In bits and pieces in the UK Championships I was playing okay," said Hendry.

"But it was obviously disappointing to lose a match from 8-4 ahead. I can't remember the last time I did that if ever.

"It just shows the standard this year. Playing the world number one, if you make mistakes you are not going to get through.

"You always have to learn from those mistakes though and make sure that you are stronger in the next tournament."

Benson and Hedges Masters begins on Sunday 3 February - follow the coverage on BBC Television, Radio Five Live and Sport Online.


Latest news

Features

Clive Everton's view

Follow the action

Gallery

Archive

Statistics

Internet links

Sports Talk
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Benson and Hedges Masters 2002 stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Benson and Hedges Masters 2002 stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

Sport Front Page | Football | Cricket | Rugby Union | Rugby League |
Tennis | Golf | Motorsport | Boxing | Athletics | Other Sports |
Special Events | Sports Talk | BBC Pundits | TV & Radio | Question of Sport |
Photo Galleries | Funny Old Game | N Ireland | Scotland | Wales