Stephen Hendry sends World Snooker Championship ‘procession’ warning

Stephen Hendry feels this year’s World Championship could prove to be very predictable (Picture: Getty Images)

Stephen Hendry reckons Ronnie O’Sullivan could stroll to the World Championship title this year after watching him batter Jackson Page 10-1 in the opening round.

The Rocket looked good as he dismissed the challenge of the 22-year-old and booked a spot in the second round against Ryan Day.

Hendry watched the 48-year-old canter to the huge victory and expected nothing less from the world number one after he started so strongly on Wednesday.

The Scot has been so impressed with O’Sullivan that he is not sure anyone will get close to him this year in Sheffield, never mind beat him.

‘He always beats who he’s supposed to beat when he’s supposed to beat them, better than anyone that’s ever played the game,’ Hendry said on the BBC.

‘If you were there today with Ronnie 8-1 up, you could book lunch for 2 o’clock because you know he’s going to beat Jackson by 2 o’clock. It’s incredible.

‘He gets to the winning line with not one bit of hesitation. It’s something you can’t teach, you either have that or you don’t, just to be able to dominate your opponents.

O’Sullivan was barely challenged by Page over two sessions (Picture: Getty Images)

‘I tend to think this could be a procession, this World Championship, I really do. I think he looks like he’s on it, the draw’s opening up, a lot of players gone.

‘Two players who beat him this year – Mark Williams, Zhang Anda – both out already. Judd [Trump] possibly in the semi-final who hasn’t beaten him since 2020. This could be a procession.’

O’Sullivan turned 49 later this year and shows little sign of slowing down, with Hendry predicting that the Rocket will still be firing in six years.

‘He’s as fit as anyone that’s in the game,’ said Hendry. ‘He doesn’t play every tournament, I can see him playing till 55 if he wants to.’


MORE : Jackson Page on facing Ronnie O’Sullivan: ‘It’s just a nightmare’


MORE : Ronnie O’Sullivan conducting snooker experiment: ‘I’m probably the only player that’s able to do that’

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