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Hendry retires from snooker

Seven times world champion Stephen Hendry has quit the green baize. The Scot announced his retirement after his quarter-final defeat by fellow-Scot Stephen Maguire at the Crucible.

A combination of other interests, business commitments and a failure to recapture his best form consistently all contributed to Hendry’s decision to call it a day. "It was quite an easy decision," he said. "There's a few reasons. The schedule didn't help. The fact that I'm not playing the snooker I want to play didn't help. The fact I'm not enjoying practice doesn't help."

Hendry managed a 147 break in his first round match, and beat champion John Higgins in the previous round, suggesting a return to form. He was never in contention against Maguire though. "The time is right for me," he said. "If I'd have won the title it would have been an even better way to go out. I'm delighted I made a maximum here, that's why I was more animated than normal when making it. I was delighted to do it on my last appearance here."

Hendry, always an icy calm presence on the tables ever since he arrived on the scene as a teenage prodigy, wasn’t about to break down and shed a tear at the thought of never playing at the Crucible again. "I've never been the most emotional person even when I win," he said. "It's sad that I won't play here again. I love playing here, but no, it's a relief as much as anything."

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