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Stephen Hendry vows to continue comeback despite opting out of World Championship Qualifiers

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Hendry has cut his season short (Photo by Richard Sellers/PA Images)

Stephen Hendry admits he intends to continue competing on the World Snooker Tour despite skipping the majority of tournaments this season.

Hendry is nearing the end of his two-year invitational Tour Card – which will expire after the World Championship in May.

The seven-time World Champion has entered only a handful of events since coming out of retirement in 2020 and has failed to progress beyond the Second Round stage of any ranking tournament.

The 53-year-old, who initially retired from professional competition a decade ago, has chosen not to enter the upcoming World Championship qualifiers, having last featured in the European Masters qualifiers in October.

It is unclear whether Hendry will be offered a renewed two-year wildcard, but the Scot has hinted that his comeback may not yet be over.

Explaining his decision not to enter the Crucible qualifiers, Hendry told ITV Sport whilst working as a pundit at the Tour Championship: “Basically, I haven’t been practicing enough and as I’ve found in the matches that I have played, if you don’t put the work in you’re not going to do yourself any justice.

“I had no expectation of winning tournaments, but just to be a little bit competitive.

“I didn’t want to turn up to the World Championship not having played much, probably lose 6-0, 6-1 and everyone saying, “What you doing?” So I chose to leave it this year.

“I still intend to play. Hopefully I can still play again next year and play in some events. I enjoyed being back out there.

“The British Open was a highlight, winning a match in front of a packed crowd was great fun. It’s not over yet.”

Hendry joins Jimmy White and Ken Doherty as invitational Tour Card holders and a decision over their potential renewal is expected in the coming weeks.

Hendry defeated his old rival White 6-3 in the First Qualifying Round of the World Championship last year before going down 6-1 to China’s Xu Si in the next round.

His only televised victory this season came the British Open last August when he defeated Chris Wakelin 3-2.

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