Stephen Hendry shrugged off jet-lag following a marathon 18 flight to fire his third maximum break at a World Snooker Championships.
The feat was greeted with thunderous applause from the capacity crowd at the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield and even enticed players at the other table (previous world champions no less in Ken Doherty and Neil Robertson) to cross the partition and shake the Scot’s hand.
What made Hendy’s feat all the more remarkable was that he had only flown in from China the night before his World Championship first round clash with Stuary Bingham.
Hendry made light of the 10,000 mile round trip to cruise into an 8-1 lead over his English opponent, dismissing sleep as being “for wimps.”
The 43 year-old joked last week that playing with jetlag might help his game having endure a difficult season where he has struggled for form and been forced to qualify for the World Championship eventhough he is a seven time champion at the Crucible.
Snooker’s winningest player will now pocket a prize of £50,000stg assuming nobody else achieves a maximum break at the tournament this year. If that does happen, the prize will be shared equally.
Hendry clearly had no regrets at spending last week in China and compiled a number of heavy breaks, but nothing as spectacular as the 147 in the seventh frame which gave him a seemingly unassailable 6-1 lead in a match which is the best of 19 frames.
Hendry’s toll was the tenth maximum in World Championship history. It was the third by Hendry and the eleventh maximum of his career in competition – a record which he now holds with Ronnie O’Sullivan.
The other players to complete a 147 at the World Championship are Cliif Thorburn, Jimmy White, O’Sullivan (three times), Mark Williams, Robert Milkins and Ali Carter.
O’Sullivan and Hendry also hold the record for maximum breaks at the World Championship with three apiece now. No other player has managed more than one maximum at snooker’s global event.