Winning is everything for Hendry
Stephen Hendry has vowed to do whatever it takes this weekend to clinch a place at the Betfred.com World Championship.
The 43-year-old Scot's ranking has fallen to the point where he must win a qualifying match in a badminton hall on Sheffield's outskirts to earn his place at the Crucible theatre in the city centre.
In the way of the seven-time former world champion stands Chinese cueman Yu Delu, a 24-year-old in his first year on tour who has won three qualifiers to reach the stage where world number 23 Hendry comes in.
Steve Davis and Jimmy White have bowed out in qualifying this week and Hendry is determined to avoid the same fate, having been a fixture at the World Championship since making his debut in 1986.
"I've got the attitude that I just go there to win," said Hendry.
"I don't go there hoping to play well, or hoping to play fantastic snooker, I just go there to get the match won and that's the main thing.
"I don't think I'll enjoy it. To have to qualify for the Crucible, where I've won seven world titles and had a great career, is not going to be enjoyable.
"But I'll just knuckle down and the important thing is to win the match. It doesn't matter how I win, I've just got to win it.
"It's all about having the right attitude. If you go there with the wrong attitude, depressed that you've got to qualify, you'll lose."
Hendry has not won a ranking event since the Malta Cup in 2005, and the last of his world titles came in 1999.
John Higgins is pulling for his fellow Scot to avoid an upset, so that Monday's tournament throws up the possibility of the pair playing each other at the Crucible for the first time. Higgins opens the tournament next Saturday.
"That's one of the players I think I could be drawn against," reigning world champion Higgins said.
"If you look at the career Stephen's had, and I've done not so bad myself, for me and him to never have played at the Crucible is strange.
"We've never even got close to playing and I would love to play Stephen Hendry at the Crucible. I think it would be a great occasion for Scotland."
Hendry has joined the Snooker Legends tour, competing alongside greats of the game including White and Dennis Taylor.
Hendry and White were in action on Friday night in an exhibition at the Crucible, and straight after his best-of-19-frames clash with Yu, which runs over Saturday afternoon and Sunday afternoon, Hendry is due to dash to Preston to take on his long-time rival in a tussle at the Guild Hall.
Between 1990 and 1994, White lost five consecutive Crucible finals, four of them to Hendry.
"Obviously the Legends games are going to bring back a lot of great memories," Hendry said.
"We had some fantastic battles at the Crucible in the nineties, and we still pull our cues from the case, we're still competitive.
"The crowd want to see some of the old magic. Hopefully I might have a bit more support this time but I'm not holding my breath."