Stephen Hendry has played down his hopes of qualifying for the World Championship this season, admitting he doesn’t think his game is "sharp enough" to reach the Crucible.
Hendry stunned the snooker world when he announced he had been handed a tour wildcard for at least two seasons in September, having retired in 2012.
However, he has found it tough going and lost 4-1 on his professional return to Matthew Selt at the Gibraltar Open earlier in March.
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He will have to come through four rounds of qualifying to reach the Crucible, where he was crowned champion a record seven times during a golden period in the 1990s.
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“I don’t think my game is sharp enough to win four matches, to be honest,” Hendry told ITV.
“It has come a little bit too soon. But if I win a couple of matches, you never know what confidence can do.”
Hendry insists that even if he fails to qualify this time around, he will likely have another tilt next year and says his goal is simply to reach the tournament proper – not ruffle the feathers of Judd Trump, Ronnie O’Sullivan and co.
“Next year I’ll probably give it another go and we’ll see what happens. That is the goal – to get back to the Crucible.
“I’m not trying to get back to competing with the top guys because they are now on a different level to where I am. I just want to play a few matches, get some enjoyment, maybe get two or three victories and see where that takes me.”
Qualifying for the World Championship starts on April 5 before defending champion O’Sullivan kicks off the main event on April 17.
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