Snooker News

Hendry Finds Momentum in Munich

Stephen Hendry is through to the semi-final of the Arcaden Shopping Open, the twelfth and final Players Tour Championship event of the season.

The Scotsman backed up his victory over Marco Fu yesterday with a 4-3 triumph over recent PTC winner Michael Holt in a largely scrappy affair.

Neither player found much rhythm and it looked like the seven-time world champion had wasted a golden opportunity when he surrendered a 2-0 advantage to trail 3-2.

Holt claimed the tight fifth frame with a respotted black and appeared set to continue his good form of late but Hendry battled back to claim the final two frames and advance to the last four.

The 42 year-old has struggled on the circuit over the last couple of seasons, so much so that he eventually dropped out of the elite Top 16 bracket in the world rankings before Christmas.

However, he has now won five matches to get this far in Germany and his confidence must be rising again with the growing chance that he could qualify for the PTC Grand Finals in Galway next March.

To break into the top 24 in the Order of Merit, Hendry will have to beat compatriot Stephen Maguire in tomorrow’s semi-final.

He has found it difficult to compete with top 16 players on the baize recently but the incentive of a trip to Ireland and more ranking points could be the incentive the veteran needs in overcoming the hurdle.

Maguire himself has failed to live up to his nickname of ‘On Fire’ but showed signs of a return to his old ways at the UK Championship in York and will hope to continue that as the Masters approaches next week.

The Glaswegian eased past Andrew Higginson 4-0 and will be bidding to make his third PTC final since its inception during the last campaign – he is yet to emerge victorious in any.

Another player that has been a beaten finalist on two occasions in the PTC series is Martin Gould and he too will have the opportunity to put that right having come through a tight, entertaining battle with Mark Allen 4-3.

Gould was also the runner-up in the first Grand Finals in 2011 meaning he is yet to claim a professional title – his success at Power Snooker aside.

The Englishman will face Joe Perry on Sunday after the former World Championship semi-finalist ousted Ricky Walden 4-1.

Walden’s loss ended his slim chances of returning the Top 16 and thus not have to qualify for the next batch of ranking events.

It also ensured Ronnie O’Sullivan’s status in the elite group for the immediate future.

Once again, crowds have been fantastic in Munich and the atmosphere is sure to be at a ferocious level tomorrow as the tournament comes to a conclusion.

The full draw can be viewed by clicking here.

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