‘Strange one’ – Judd Trump speaks about Stephen Hendry’s return to snooker

Hendry is set to come out of retirement at next week’s Gibraltar Open.

Judd Trump has admitted that Stephen Hendry’s return to snooker is a ‘strange one’ and believes the Scot will struggle to win matches.

Seven-time world champion Hendry is set to return to the main tour next week at the Gibraltar Open.

Hendry retired after his 2012 World Championship defeat by Stephen Maguire, admitting it was an ‘easy decision’ given his busy schedule and loss of form.

The 52-year-old announced his return in September 2020 after accepting an invitational tour card to play on the World Snooker Tour for two seasons.

However, Hendry’s comeback has been delayed with what he called a “glitch” in the online entry system denying him a spot in last week’s Welsh Open.

But while Hendry is expected to play in Gibraltar next week, Trump admits he is unsure whether the six-time Masters winner is taking his comeback seriously, or is doing it as a ‘bit of fun’.

‘I’d be surprised if he can get many results now’

“It is a strange one,” world number one Trump told the Sun.

“I don’t know whether he is coming back to take it seriously, or just as a bit of fun.

“It is going to be tough for anyone after that amount of time off. It would surprise me if he won any games at all.

“I think when Stephen retired the standard was already starting to go up and that caught him out.

“I think he found it harder as Ronnie O’Sullivan, John Higgins and Mark Williams started to get the better of him.

“He found that tough to take, so I’d be surprised if he can get many results now the whole tour is of a very good standard.”

Last week, Ronnie O’Sullivan – who last year surpassed Hendry’s record of 36 ranking tournament victories – admitted Hendry would need to balance his competitive return with his punditry in order to find success.

“Anybody finds it tough,” O’Sullivan told Eurosport. “You have to play really well to get results.

“If Stephen can stick to what he’s doing – he does a lot of Instagram stuff, he has his TV punditry stuff.

“As long as he doesn’t say ‘right, I’m a full-time snooker player’ and invest 24-7 into snooker then he will be fine.

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