Stephen Hendry admits competing in the World Seniors Championship is his “Last roll of the dice” as he aims to recapture his vintage best form.
Seven-time World Champion Hendry retired from professional snooker in 2012 but has made several appearances on the World Seniors circuit in recent years.
The 51-year-old had been linked with a competitive comeback last year but played down the rumours, though he has been working closely with SightRight coach Steve Feeney to help sharpen his game.
Hendry, whose tally of 36 ranking titles was eclipsed by Ronnie O’Sullivan at The Crucible last week, is currently vying for World Seniors glory at the sport’s spiritual home.
He showed glimpses of his former brilliance by recovering from 3-1 down to defeat Nigel Bond 4-3 in the opening round on Thursday.
The Scot admits this tournament represents his last chance to lift a televised title.
He told BBC Sport: “Obviously I haven’t played a lot of competitive snooker since I retired but I’ve been working hard with Steve Feeney from SightRight and it’s been going really well.
“It’s just lacking a wee bit of composure on the table.
“It was kind of my last roll of the dice.
“I said to Jason [Francis] after Hull last year “no more” because it was just torture.
“[Mark] Williams has been at me for ages to speak to Steve [Feeney] and have a look so yeah it’s my last roll of the dice.
“I feel good. I knocked in some good long ones and played some pretty good safety as well, which for me, is lovely!
“I checked my average shot time and it was 28 seconds – that’s ridiculous. Ronnie plays two frames in that!
“I’m absolutely fuming that I didn’t make a century but it’s nice to win a match for a change.”
Hendry now faces 2018 World Seniors champion Aaron Canavan in the Quarter-Finals on Friday.
The tournament, which features a top prize of £25,000, is being held behind closed doors at The Crucible Theatre from August 19-22.
Hendry, who made a high break of 73 in his win over Bond, added: “It’s always special to play here, it’s not the same I have to say without a crowd.
“The memories I’ve had here were with packed crowds and nothing will match that.
“It’s always special to walk down those stairs, but it’s just not the same.”