Seven-time world title winner Stephen Hendry says he wants to make up for an "embarrassing" loss nine years ago when he makes his comeback at the Gibraltar Open aged 52 next week.
“I lost 13-2 to Steve Maguire [in the quarter-finals] and I basically gave up about a third of the way through the match,” he told The Times.
I knew it was over. I knew I couldn’t compete.
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“I would like my last match at the Crucible, if possible, to be a match I can look back on and think, ‘I played well, I did everything I could even if I lost.
“I want a game when I can be happy with what I gave rather than that 13-2 embarrassment.
“One of my goals in this comeback is not about winning but just to get back to the Crucible.
I am going to have to win four matches [in qualifying] just to get there, almost a mini-tournament, so it’s going to be so, so difficult. But there’s no point in setting yourself easy goals.
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Judd Trump says it would be a “surprise” to him if Hendry “won any games at all” on his return.
Hendry insists he is not fussed by the talk and compares his comeback to that made by golfer Tiger Woods.
“I heard some of the same stuff when Tiger Woods was coming back, that he wouldn’t be able to compete because the young players were hitting it longer than him now,” he said.
Everyone is entitled to their opinion. I just saw Judd, we’ve had a laugh about it. It would make it nice to win my first match and say, ‘There you go.’
Hendry believes that the overall standard of the tour has not significantly improved since his prime years.
He added: "The top players are great, great players but there is still a lot of snooker out there where I think: 'There’s nothing there that I wasn’t doing'."
"My return feels like a double-edged sword. I am a scalp, I’ve still got the name someone wants to beat but, then, who wants to lose to me in my first match since 2012? There’s pressure both ways."
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