Seven-time world champion Stephen Hendry will face six-time runner-up Jimmy White in a blockbuster draw in World Championship qualifying. The match will take place on Monday, April 5.
The pair, widely regarded as two of the finest to play the game, are both on the tour on wildcards and Hendry recently made his long awaited comeback at the Gibraltar Open.
White, now a Eurosport pundit, has been playing far more consistently recently and is currently ranked 83rd in the world and is the reigning World Senior Champion.
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The Whirlwind was Hendry’s victim for the Scot’s first four world titles, as he triumphed in 1990, 1992, 1993 and 1994.
Hendry also beat White in the semi-finals in 1995 but White was victorious when they faced each other in the second round in 1988 and then in the first round in 1998.
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“I can’t believe it!” Hendry said when the draw was announced.
“All those finals and now we will play each other in the very first round, it’s incredible.
We have been practising together but that will end now!
Elsewhere 12-time women’s world champion Reanne Evans, another Eurosport pundit, will face Andy Hicks while Rebecca Kenna makes her debut at the event and faces Brandon Sargeant.
The English Institute of Sport will host the qualifying rounds that run from April 5 to 14. They will be available to watch on the Eurosport App.
The 16 players who make it through the qualifying rounds will go through to the Crucible, joining the top 16 seeds, for the final stages which run from April 17 to May 3.
All qualifying matches are best of 11 frames, up until the final round on April 13 and 14 which is best of 19. The round structure is:
- Players seeded 81-144 contest the opening round.
- In round two, those 32 winners will face players seeded 49-80.
- In round three, those 32 winners will face players seeded 17-48.
- In round four, those 32 winners play each other, with the 16 winners going through to the Crucible.
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