sport

Hendry and Davis win qualifiers

Stephen Hendry and Steve Davis both came through the final qualifying round to book their places at the UK Championship next month.

Hendry is out of the top 16 for the first time since 1988 but safely negotiated the qualifiers at the South West Snooker Academy in Gloucester with a 6-2 win over Gerard Greene.

He now faces fellow Scot Stephen Maguire in the first round.

Davis, meanwhile, beat Andrew Higginson 6-2 to secure a clash with Ronnie O'Sullivan in York.

"I played solid snooker, nothing special apart from the break to go 5-2 up which was one of the best I've ever made," said Hendry, who has won the UK title five times.

"It's a very good result and I'm delighted to get through. The UK Championship is a massive tournament, and although I'll be there working for the BBC, to go there without being in the draw would have been very hard.

"Playing in the qualifiers is a different kind of pressure for me, but my position in the rankings is self-inflicted and that's why I'm here.

"I'm not used to it and I want to get back into the top 16 as soon as possible. I just tried to concentrate on the match today and put in as much effort as I could."

Hendry now prepares to face Maguire on December 3 and added: "I'm the qualifier so I have to expect a tough draw. Stephen knows what I'm capable of."

Davis enjoyed breaks of 52 and 63 in a comfortable win over Higginson to set up his meeting with O'Sullivan at the venue on December 4 in York.

Davis said: "You can't ask for more than a match against Ronnie at the UK. It's what we play for. Plus it gives me a day when I don't have to sit next to John Parrott!

"It was nervy and horrible today, I was all over the place, but Andrew was even worse. You just want to get to the venue. It's enjoyable grafting away and I don't get upset when I'm playing rubbish stuff.

"When I first dropped into the qualifiers, I just got stuck in and didn't say 'I'm not supposed to be here' - and I think Stephen (Hendry) will be the same.

"He's got nothing to worry about as long as he's optimistic and get's his attitude right. He's bound to win some and lose some."