Stephen Hendry to lose top-16 place after Shanghai loss

Stephen Hendry
Hendry could now have to qualify for the UK Championship

Seven-times world champion Stephen Hendry is set to lose his place in the elite world top 16 after he was beaten in round one of the Shanghai Masters.

Hendry, 42, has been in the top 16 and exempt from qualifying for big tournaments for the last 23 years.

But he is now expected to have to qualify for December's UK Championship after losing four frames in succession in a 5-1 defeat against Robert Milkins.

John Higgins and Mark Williams went comfortably through to the last 16.

World champion Higgins eased to a 5-2 victory over Mark Davis, while world number one Williams whitewashed Andrew Higginson 5-0 and will now play Milkins in the next round.

Higgins enjoyed an opening-frame break of 112 and, despite a scrappy finish, was rarely troubled by Davis and next faces Stuart Bingham, who saw off Judd Trump 5-1.

However, a dejected Hendry faces the ignominy of qualifying for the second biggest ranking prize in the sport, the UK Championship, a tournament he has won five times.

He could also miss the coveted Masters, an event he has won on a record six occasions, although no decision has yet been made on whether wildcards will be permitted.

Asked how he would feel about missing the events, Hendry said: "Of course it would be disappointing. But the way I'm playing at the moment I'd lose in the first round anyway.

"I'm just playing very badly and I've got very little confidence."

In the day's other games, Michael Holt advanced by seeing off 2006 world champion Graeme Dott 5-2.

The Scot rallied from 3-0 down to get the deficit down to a single frame before Holt pulled away.

Welshman Matthew Stevens also booked his place in the last 16 with a 5-2 victory over Stephen Lee.

No Chinese players made it through to the second round as Martin Gould beat Ding Junhui 5-3 and Neil Roberton thrashed Liang Wenbo 5-0.