SNOOKER / WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS: Hendry hits 147 maximum
LONDON: Stephen Hendry rolled back the years to make the 10th maximum break in the history of the World Championships on the opening day of this year's tournament in Sheffield.
Hendry's third 147 at the Crucible came in the seventh frame of his first-round match against Stuart Bingham and helped the seven-time former world champion take an 8-1 lead.
It was the 11th maximum of Hendry's career, and moved him level with Ronnie O'Sullivan in the Crucible 147 stakes.
Hendry's feat came just a day after he returned from a 10,000-mile round trip to north-east China on business. He will pick up STG40,000 (RM198,000) for the 147, and a STG10,000 highest break prize, unless another player also reaches the maximum.
Ken Doherty and Neil Robertson, former world champions playing on the other side of the arena, stopped playing as Hendry moved close to the magical mark, and together with Bingham congratulated the Scot, whose previous 147s at the Crucible came in 1995 and 2009.
The 2009 break earned him STG157,000 but World Snooker have since downgraded the prize fund for maximums.
Hendry punched the air on potting a straightforward black and raised his glass of water as the crowd stood to acclaim his feat.
It is 12 years since Hendry, as defending champion, was beaten by Bingham in the first round in Sheffield.
He has not won a world title since and is an outsider this year, but not for long if he keeps up the form that looks to have killed off Bingham's hopes.
Defending champion John Higgins survived a major fright to defeat China's qualifier Liang Wenbo 10-9.
Higgins trailed 52-44 in the deciding frame but pulled through when his opponent failed with a daring double to leave the champion to clear up.
Earlier in the frame, Liang had called a foul on himself in a memorable show of sportsmanship.
Australia's Robertson raced to a 7-2 lead over Doherty, while David Gilbert moved 6-3 ahead of Martin Gould.
In Saturday's other first round match, China's Cao Yupeng opened a 5-4 lead over Mark Allen. AFP