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The collapse of the King. Why did the great Stephen Hendry trade greatness for the image of a loser?

Date: July 19, 2024 Time: 02:24:41

As a kid, I never understood why sports legends end their careers on top. For example, Zinedine Zidane in soccer or Magdalena Neuner in biathlon. But it seems that Stephen Hendry has now explained to me why this is necessary.

The seven-time world champion and arguably one of the best billiards players in history has suffered another dismal defeat. In qualifying for the British Open, Hendry, 54, lost 2-4 to 81st-ranked Pakistani Muhammad Asif. Things are getting worse for Stephen.

real disaster

We all know Stephen Hendry as a pool legend. Seven world titles, five UK championships, six Masters titles and over 36 ranking tournament wins speak volumes. In 2012, he left the sport on a beautiful note: he reached the quarterfinals of the World Championship, where he lost to Stephen Maguire with a score of 2:13. However, eight years later, in 2020, the 50-year-old Hendry decided to return to the sport. And from that moment on, truly black pages began in his career.

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Since his return, Stephen has made 14 professional appearances (not counting senior world championships). Of these, the King of the Crucible won only two: in 2021, he beat Chris Wakelin (3:2) and edged past Michael White (4:1) in qualifying for the English Open of the same year.

The win over White is special for Hendry. First of all, he is still the last of his race. Since September 2021, Stephen has not won a single game. Secondly, thanks to her, for the last time, the King of the Crucible moved from the ranks to the main draw of any ranked tournament. Since then, the Scotsman has been knocked out in the first qualifying round in nine different competitions.

Now the four-time British Open champion flew at the start of the tournament standings from 81st-ranked Muhammad Asif (2:4). Hendry managed to take the first frame, but Asif immediately took the lead (3:1). The Scotsman tried to get back into the game in the fifth frame (3: 2), but the Pakistani finished his job (4: 2). This loss was for Stephen for the eleventh time in a row.

stephen hendry

Photo: VCG/VCG via Getty Images

The statistics are, to put it mildly, bad. After returning from Hendry, almost nothing happens. Something sticks to him only at the world championships among seniors and qualifications for them. Steven has won five of 11 matches since 2020. In 2020, he even made it to the semifinals of the tournament. But he still cannot be compared with competitions between professional players.

Still cool?

The losing streak has reignited the discussion about bringing the legend back to snooker. This is what British journalist Hector Nunns wrote.

“Today I watched the whole match between Hendry and Asif. And I really think Stephen should put an end to this. Nobody enjoys his game, he himself is also not happy with the misses, sighs of disappointment at the dropped level of play, inept shots, low head and shoulders.

And it’s not that I don’t have the right to speak. Of course she has. This is his decision. But why bet on all this? Why brag about a lower level of billiards when everyone thinks you’re the legend of the game of all time?

Stephen Hendry in his youth

Photo: Malcolm Croft – PA Images/PA

In 2012 he left because he was not happy with the level of his game, but even so he played better than now,” Nunns wrote on his social networks.

And it seems that Hector is right. Yes, Hendry can compete if he wants to, but right now he seems more of a tormenting sort of thing. The indistinct game of the legend does not suit either the audience or the great champion himself. Here comes another problem. The losing streak is now so horrendous that it could dwarf the Crucible King’s achievements and high status. If Stephen continues to play so poorly, fans, especially the younger ones, will remember him not as a legend, but as an outsider. Apparently, this topic is acute, since many news audiences prefer to finish Hendry’s sports biography in 2012. And only briefly mention that Stephen then returned, without talking about the results.

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At a moment like this, you understand that Neuner and Zidane, who left at the top, were right. Now the fans warmly talk about these athletes, remember their brilliant achievements, call them legends and constantly think about what would have happened if they had not left. Perhaps Hendry probably should have done the same so people would remember his greatness for decades to come.

And now that greatness is tarnished.

* This website provides news content gathered from various internet sources. It is crucial to understand that we are not responsible for the accuracy, completeness, or reliability of the information presented Read More

Puck Henry
Puck Henry
Puck Henry is an editor for ePrimefeed covering all types of news.

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