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  Thursday, 2 May, 2002, 07:01 GMT 08:01 UK
O'Sullivan lashes out at Hendry
Ronnie O'Sullivan in action during the 2002 World Championship
Ronnie O'Sullivan: 'Hendry's not my cup of tea'
Ronnie O'Sullivan launched a scathing attack on Stephen Hendry ahead of their World Championship semi-final.

Defending champion O'Sullivan revealed he had lost respect for Hendry following a controversial incident in a previous match at the Crucible.

And he announced he was looking forward to sending the seven-time winner "back to Scotland".


There is not a lot of respect there at all
O'Sullivan on Hendry

In the other semi-final, former runners-up Peter Ebdon and Matthew Stevens will be looking to reach the final for a second time.

O'Sullivan revealed the strength of his feelings about Hendry after beating Stephen Lee in the quarter-finals on Wednesday.

He admitted he was furious with the Scot for accusing him of a deliberate miss when they last faced each other at the Crucible.

O'Sullivan said: "I played him in the semi-finals a couple of years ago and we had this miss rule.

"You know when a certain player has made a genuine attempt and a miss was called against me.

"I really thought a lot of Stephen until he had that ball put back, and he really did go down in my estimations after that.

"There is not a lot of respect there at all.

"The most satisfying thing for me would be to send him home to Scotland as quickly as possible for a nice summer off.

"I'll say hello to him because it's hard to ignore someone - but he's not my cup of tea."

Stephen Hendry
Hendry: Called O'Sullivan for a miss

Hendry, though, remains focused on his own form on the table - and believes he can now go on to add an eighth title to his collection.

He saw off Ken Doherty in a thrilling quarter-final to step up his challenge - but he accepts that the event remains wide open.

"I feel I'm playing well enough to win it," he said.

"It doesn't matter how well you are playing, if someone is potting the balls there is nothing you can do about it.

"I'm playing well enough to win it but so is everybody else in the semis."

Matthew Stevens
Matthew Stevens is in superb form

Matthew Stevens, who reached the semi-final of the Thailand Masters this season, booked his place in the last four with a 13-7 win over John Higgins.

The world number six is hoping to overcome his nearly man tag to take the World title.

"I've lost in two UK finals and one world final - so I've been close in the big ones," he said.

"This would be a great time to win my first ranking event."

"My results haven't been great this season and I don't know why. I have been putting a lot of work in, but people seem to keep playing well against me.

"The longer games suit me well and I'm really looking forward to the game with Peter."

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Defending champion Ronnie O'Sullivan
"It would be satisfying to send him home early"

Embassy final

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