The seven-time world champion is playing in just his third tournament since making his comeback.
Stephen Hendry said there’s a lot to improve on but that playing in front of an audience again was “tremendous” as he reached the second round of the British Open on Tuesday in Leicester.
The 52 year-old beat Chris Wakelin 3-2 to safely negotiate the first hurdle at the Morningside Arena, in doing so winning a first ranking event match at a venue since 2012.
Hendry beat old rival Jimmy White in the World Championship back in April, but that encounter was contested in the qualifiers at the English Institute of Sport.
After the random draw was made on Tuesday evening, the former world number one learned that his next opponent will be either Fergal O’Brien or Gary Wilson.
“There was lots of stuff to be encouraged by,” four-time British Open champion Stephen Hendry said in his post-match press conference.
“I thought my long game was pretty good, especially in the first half of the match – I cued quite nicely on occasions, which is what I’m after.”
“I’m working very hard with Stephen Feeney on the technical side of the game, and it’s getting better every day.
“Obviously, I’m lacking a bit of match composure probably – my highest break was only 47, and when you consider the openings that I created for myself, that’s obviously not good enough to compete with the best players.
“I haven’t played a lot through the summer really. I was planning to, but golf took over as it has done with many people.
“But I’ve pretty much played every day this month leading up to this – whether it be an hour or two hours, I’ve been in there every day playing.
“It’s a work in progress, I’m still a long way behind these guys, but I’m enjoying the process. One of the main reasons to come back and compete was to experience what I experienced tonight.
“It was magnificent. Chris and I got the advantage from Mark Selby’s full crowd, and it was tremendous to play in front of an audience again.”
World champion Selby, recent Championship League winner David Gilbert, and 2004 British Open finalist Stephen Maguire were among the others to make it through on day two.
However, Kyren Wilson suffered an upset as he went down against Ashley Hugill while Jack Lisowski, Joe Perry, and Ryan Day were among the other higher profile casualties.
The first round concludes on Wednesday before the second round gets under way during the evening session.
Live coverage continues on ITV4 in Ireland and the UK.
Click here to view the full draw (Times: CET)
Featured photo credit: WST