Stephen Hendry will make his eagerly-anticipated return to the World Snooker Tour after a nine-year absence on Tuesday evening, and fellow star John Higgins cannot wait.
The decorated Scot will play his first match on the main tour since he retired back in 2012 when he faces close friend Matthew Selt in the first round of the Gibraltar Open.
Hendry famously quit after losing 13-2 to fellow Scot Stephen Maguire in the quarter-finals of the World Championship nine years ago.
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Ahead of his return to the sport he dominated in the 1990s, Hendry has generated a huge amount of interest from dedicated snooker fans and beyond.
Higgins, one of his big rivals over the years, believes his countryman's return is great for the sport and is excited to see what he can produce.
"The whole snooker world will tune in," he said of the match, which gets underway from 19:00 UK time on Eurosport, eurosport.co.uk and the Eurosport app.
Who knows what will happen? It will be interesting.
"Stephen is obviously excited. It's the worst possible match for Matt Selt because they are mates, and I imagine there will be a lot of banter and text messages beforehand."
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Shaun Murphy, the 2005 world champion, added that Hendry will be keen not to embarrass himself on his return to the tour after a nine-year absence.
"I'm really, really looking forward to it. The return of the king. I know them both very well," said Murphy.
"I think there has been good friendly banter between them. They would be a lot more mean-spirited on the golf course, I can assure you, where the banter is severe.
"But make no mistake, they'll both want to win. I know this is a big match and a big marquee return for Stephen Hendry, but he won't want to walk out there and be made to look silly.
"I think he'll be trying his very best, I know Matt is going to give it everything he's got. And rightly so, it's the main focus of the first round of this tournament."
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Hendry himself told World Snooker: "I’m just looking to enjoy the match against Matt and I hope we both play well. If I start to play well then the expectation will build and I’ll want to win more.
"One of the reasons I retired was because I couldn’t win any more. I have to control those expectations. I’m hitting the ball better in practice than I was when I retired.
"I am able to play all the shots I want to play, while before I retired I was avoiding shots because I didn’t want to play them. But that's only part of the puzzle."
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Watch Hendry's big comeback LIVE from 19:00 UK time on Eurosport, eurosport.co.uk and the Eurosport app.
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