Stephen Hendry beats Jimmy White in World Championship qualifying


Hendry (right) retired in 2012 after losing at the World Cup

Seven-time world champion Stephen Hendry defeated old rival Jimmy White in the first qualifying round for this year’s world championship.

Scot Hendry, who was playing his second game since retiring, came through 6-3 at Sheffield.

The 52-year-old has to win three more laps in qualifying to reach the world championship, which starts on April 17th.

“I don’t think I scared anyone with that performance,” said Hendry.

A loss for Englishman White (58) means that he will likely lose his place on the tour next season.

“I’m not happy with the way we both played. There was a lot of tension,” Hendry told World Snooker TV.

“I was trying to relax and enjoy the occasion. The result probably meant more to Jimmy than to me.”

Hendry and White have one of the most famous rivalries in the sport – Hendry won her four world finals at the Crucible between 1990 and 1994 – and trained together before the draw took place.

The standard was well below the previous 60 games, but Hendry, who retired after his last appearance at the Crucible in 2012, came through a nervous encounter that was flawed by both players.

He showed his familiar fighting skills in the third frame, which he won with only pink and black results despite the need for snooker.

He punished White again in the sixth when Hendry cleared the table 5-1 after White missed a red in a 62-0 win.

Both players struggled in the following frames as White cut the deficit, but Hendry finished the win with a 52 break just before midnight.

“Every game is a bonus and it helps me get used to being out there,” said Hendry.

“The next season will be a different matter because I’ll have more competitive snooker under my belt.”

Hendry that lost to Matthew Selt In his only previous game since his comeback, he is next up against China’s Xu Si.

White may now have to return to Q School to keep his spot on the tour or rely on a wild card.

“Getting into the game and playing like that is really frustrating and demoralizing,” said White.

“I can’t really think about what I’m going to do right now.

“I’ll just wait and see what the results are in the next few days and then make a decision.”

Andy Hicks previously reached the second qualifying round by beating 12-time women’s world champion Reanne Evans 6-2.