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STEPHEN HENDRY CALLS IT A DAY

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Default STEPHEN HENDRY CALLS IT A DAY

Snooker great Stephen Hendry announced his retirement after losing in the quarter-finals of the Betfred.com World Championship on Tuesday.

The 43-year-old won seven world titles at the Crucible and bowed out of the sport after a 13-2 defeat to fellow Scot Stephen Maguire.

Hendry said: "I am officially retired now from tournament snooker.

"I made the decision about three months ago."

Hendry added: "I didn't tell many people. I only told two or three people, but this is me finished from tournament snooker.

"It was quite an easy decision. 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.

"I want to do other things. I've got a lot of commitments now in China, which I've signed up for and I can't do that and play snooker because I would never be at home."

Hendry said: "The time is right for me. 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 beat Stuart Bingham in the first round at the World Championship this year, firing a maximum break in the process, and then knocked out reigning champion John Higgins in round two.

Retirement though was always at the back of his mind, with Hendry knowing whoever beat him would be the last man to do so.

Hendry added: "It was not a spur-of-the-moment thing. I thought about it last year but two or three months ago I just decided enough was enough."

Hendry added: "I haven't got a lot of things to regret in my career. "Obviously it's sad that your last match is a 13-2 drubbing but that was just the way it went. At least it wasn't 13-0.

"I haven't been able to play the way I've wanted to play for the last 10 years, and it's just ground me down and down and down.

"I keep getting beaten in first rounds and second rounds by people I still know are not as good as me. After a while it becomes too much.

"I think I've had a decent career."

Maguire finished off Hendry with a session to spare, and was not among the few people who knew his opponent's retirement was imminent.

"I'm shocked. I totally wasn't expecting that there," Maguire said.

"I don't know why (he is retiring). I'm speechless. He's left a great legacy.

"He's the best player to ever pick up a cue in my eyes.

"It's going to take someone to win a lot of tournaments to equal him."

STEPHEN HENDRY FACTFILE:

1969: Born January 13 in Edinburgh.

1983: Wins the Scottish Under-16 Championship.

1984: Wins the Scottish Amateur Championship, aged 15.

1985: Joins the professional tour aged 16 years and three months, the youngest player ever to do so.

1986: Became the youngest ever winner of the Scottish Professional Championship and becomes the youngest World Championship qualifier, a record broken by Belgium's Luca Brecel in 2012.

1987: Wins his first ranking event, beating Dennis Taylor 10-7 in the Grand Prix final, and adds the British Open title.

1989: Wins his first major, the UK Championship, as part of a haul of three ranking titles.

1990: Retains the UK Championship and wins his first World Championship, along with three other tournament wins.

1992: Wins his second Crucible title, winning 10 successive frames to beat Jimmy White 18-14 in the final. Also wins the Masters and makes his first professional 147 break.

1994: Awarded the MBE by the Queen. Wins the world title for the third year in succession and the fourth time in his career after an 18-17 final win over White. Makes seven centuries in beating Ken Doherty 10-5 in the UK Championship final.

1996: Wins his fifth successive World Championship, matching Steve Davis and Ray Reardon's total of six, and completes the World/UK Championship double for the third year in a row.

1998: Beaten 10-9 after a final-frame re-spotted black by Mark Williams in a memorable Masters final at Wembley.

1999: Wins the last of his seven Crucible crowns. Makes the first ever 147 in a ranking final at the following season's British Open.

2001: Beaten 18-17 by Peter Ebdon in the World Championship final.

2005: Wins his last ranking title at the Malta Cup.

2009: Wins his 1,000th frame at the Crucible.

2011: Records the 10th maximum of his career, against Stephen Maguire at the Welsh Open.

2012: April 15: Beats Yu Delu 10-6 to reach the World Championship, having been forced to go through qualifying for the first time since 1988.

April 21: Marks the opening day of the tournament with a 147 against Stuart Bingham, his third at the Crucible and the 11th of his career - equalling two records held by Ronnie O'Sullivan.

May 1: Having been beaten 13-2 by fellow Scot Maguire in the quarter-final, announces his retirement from snooker.
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