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Who does Hendry rate as snooker's greatest player?

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Stephen Hendry and Alex 'Hurricane' Higgins in 1987.

Image credit: Eurosport

ByEurosport
27/05/2020 at 06:19 | Updated 27/05/2020 at 08:18

Ronnie O'Sullivan is the greatest snooker player of all time, according to his fierce rival Stephen Hendry.

Speaking to Eurosport pundit and former world number three Neal Foulds on Instagram, seven-times world champion Hendry drew up a list of his 10 best players in the history of the game - while deciding to omit himself from the GOAT debate.

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O'Sullivan and Hendry are widely regarded as the two greatest players of all time, but the Scotsman has awarded second place in the all-time list to world champion Judd Trump, who he believes can take the game to "a new level" after his 18-9 thumping of John Higgins in last year's World Championship final.

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He has also found room for his old foes Alex Higgins, Jimmy White and Steve Davis, despite dramatically rising standards in the sport in recent times.

Hendry's opinion supports White's comments on Eurosport's exclusive series of vodcasts during the public health lockdown.

The 'Whirlwind' had suggested Hendry would name the Rocket, the five-times world champion, as his top player.

"I put Ronnie at the top, he's an artist with the cueball," said Hendry.

"It's just incredible. At his best, I put him number one, but as I say, if you ask me in five years' time, it could well be Judd.

"He was unplayable in that world final against Higgins and if he carries that on he's going to take the game to a new level."

Foulds accepted the premise regarding Trump's potential, but said there was a reason why he named the current world number one at a lowly 10 on his all-time list.

"I've got to go with what people achieve, not what might they achieve. He's got to keep winning," said Foulds. "He's turned the corner. I don't think he was the most dedicated before. I don't really know what was going on in his life.

"There's a lifestyle change in there somewhere and since his brother (Jack) has been with him, he's been a different prospect."

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Foulds believes snooker behind closed doors at the Championship League next week and the World Championship in July could affect how Trump's performs in defending his title if his brother is not with him.

Snooker has been in cold storage since Trump defeated Kyren Wilson 4-3 to lift the Gibraltar Open in March. It was a record sixth ranking victory of the campaign.

"There are no guests allowed with the players at the Championship League and if that goes onto the Worlds maybe that will be a factor," said Foulds. "Some players need their heads put right especially at the Crucible."

Stephen Hendry's top 10 greatest players

  • 1. Ronnie O'Sullivan
  • 2. Judd Trump
  • 3. John Higgins
  • 4. Steve Davis
  • 5. Mark Williams
  • 6. Neil Robertson
  • 7. Mark Selby
  • 8. Ding Junhui
  • 9. Jimmy White
  • 10. Alex Higgins

Neal Foulds' top 10 greatest players

  • 1. Ronnie O'Sullivan
  • 2. Stephen Hendry
  • 3. Steve Davis
  • 4. John Higgins
  • 5. Jimmy White
  • 6. Mark Selby
  • 7. Ray Reardon
  • 8. Mark Williams
  • 9. Neil Robertson
  • 10. Judd Trump

Snooker's Multiple World Champions

  • Joe Davis (England)
  • 15 – 1927, 1928, 1929, 1930, 1931, 1932, 1933, 1934, 1935, 1936, 1937, 1938, 1939, 1940, 1946
  • Fred Davis (England)
  • 8 – 1948, 1949, 1951, 1952, 1953, 1954, 1955, 1956
  • John Pulman (England)
  • 8 – 1957, 1964, 1964, 1965, 1965, 1965, 1966, 1968
  • Stephen Hendry (Scotland)
  • 7 – 1990, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1999
  • Steve Davis (England)
  • 6 – 1981, 1983, 1984, 1987, 1988, 1989
  • Ray Reardon (Wales)
  • 6 – 1970, 1973, 1974, 1975, 1976, 1978
  • Ronnie O'Sullivan (England)
  • 5 – 2001, 2004, 2008, 2012, 2013
  • John Higgins (Scotland)
  • 4 – 1998, 2007, 2009, 2011
  • Mark Williams (Wales)
  • 3 – 2000, 2003, 2018
  • Mark Selby (England)
  • 3 – 2014, 2016, 2017
  • John Spencer (England)
  • 3 – 1969, 1971, 1977
  • Walter Donaldson (Scotland)
  • 2 – 1947, 1950
  • Alex Higgins (Northern Ireland)
  • 2 – 1972, 1982
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