World Championship 2012 (Day 1) - Hendry to the max

01:49:00 Ramona Dragomir 0 Comments

Hendry hits a marvellous 147
This year's edition of the mighty and glorious World Championship started in the best possible way: with a brilliant 147. 

Stephen Hendry, the player that holds the record for winning no less than seven titles at the Crucible, hit the 11th maximum break of his career in his way of taking a 8-1 lead over Stuart Bingham.

Defending champion, John Higgins struggled to find his winning-form that in the end got him a place in the Last 16 due to a 10-9 win over Liang Wenbo, while David Gilbert, Neil Robertson and Cao Yupeng ended their first session in the leading position.

It was just spectacular to see legend Stephen Hendry cueing so great. Everything went wonderfully well for the seven-time world champion who put his opponent, the Englishman Stuart Bingham in quite some trouble.

Breaks of 100 and 89 were setting the ground rules of this match with Hendry taking a 3-1 lead, while runs of 78, 61, a great 147, 75 and 65 were ending the first session with the same Scot as leader at 8-1.

The 147 Stephen hit during the 7th frame is his 11th one, this meaning that he caught up with Ronnie O'Sullivan who also has 11. 

After seeing Stephen punching the air, which you don't witness so often, you got to guess how much this has meant to him, not to mention his brilliant form of playing especially since this is the first time, after many, many moons that he had to qualify for the Crucible.


Not in such  good form his fellow-country John Higgins, although managed to win his first match and keep the hope of retaining his world title alive, was far from performing his best shots.

The first session was seeing Higgins taking a small lead at 5-4 thanks to breaks like 71, 50, 61 and 34, while as the last one kicked off the "Wizard of Wishaw" was starting to hit the ball quite well, enough for a 6-4 lead.

Higgins still struggling, but still in the race
But Wenbo wasn't going to give up so easily, more since his playing was better than his opponent's, so after a rain of breaks (45, 72, 43 and 92) the scoreline became 8-6 in his favour. Now the reigning champion was in deep, deep trouble.

Still, what happened next didn’t surprise the audience for it was typical-Higgins. A great 133 clearance and runs of 22 and 24 were bringing the equality on the scoreboard, while a 59 break was putting the Scotsman one away from victory.

Now it was Wenbo's turn to get the tension reaching higher levels so the match ended on a decider. 40 consecutive points collected Higgins off the table before missing a red, Wenbo coming for a 52 break as he lost position.

A well fought match from Wenbo, but not a victory
A few safety shots and a double that went totally wrong and Higgins was given a chance, a chance that this time he turned into a reality as he cleared up until de pink for a 10-9 victory.

Three more matches had their first session today, Cao Yupeng leading Mark Allen 5-4, David Gilbert's rockish-snooker-style got him a 6-3 lead over an overwhelmed Martin Gould, while Neil Robertson is sitting pretty comfortable at 7-2 after facing Ken Doherty.

Tomorrow, the action continues with:

4 Stephen Maguire v. Luca Brecel
11* Martin Gould 3-6 David Gilbert

5 Shaun Murphy v. Jamie Jones
14* Mark Allen 4-5 Cao Yupeng

2* Stuart Bingham 8-1 Stephen Hendry
12* Neil Robertson 7-2 Ken Doherty

*denotes the final session 

TV coverage:
14:00 - 17:00 BBC Two
15:30 - 17:30 British EuroSport 2
19:00 - 22:00 British EuroSport
19:00 - 22:00 British EuroSport 2
00:00 - 01:00 BBC Two (the highlights)