Jimmy White 'needs' to beat old rival Stephen Hendry 'big time'

By Tyrone SmithBBC Scotland Sport
Stephen Hendry (left) and Jimmy White
Stephen Hendry beat Jimmy White 18-17 in the 1994 final, one of the greatest matches in World Championship history

Jimmy White says he needs to beat Stephen Hendry "big time" when the two old rivals face off in Monday's World Championship qualifier.

The two snooker legends were paired together in the draw, with Hendry making a comeback after last playing in the event nine years ago.

White says he is battling for his Tour future against the man who beat him in four previous finals in the 1990s.

"It is what it is, I'm fighting to stay on Tour," White told BBC Scotland.

White, 58, had been practising with seven-time Crucible champion Hendry, 52, since the Scot was given a tour card but that arrangement has been put on hold as they prepare to meet competitively.

"I had two missed calls from Stephen after the draw was made," said White. "He was the first person I rang and he said 'can you believe it?'

"I know how good he is, I've had so many battles with him. We've been practising together for the last three or four months and the guy's concentration and self-belief is still there.

"He's a good guy, a very hard competitor, but I need to win that match, big time."

White likens the match to tennis legends Bjorn Borg and John McEnroe, or boxing's Marvin Haggler and Sugar Ray Leonard.

"It's great for snooker fans, it's going to get all the juices going and hopefully we put on a good show," said White.

"I've been saying for years he'll get fed up with not playing. It's not like boxing or football, you can still play to a decent standard as long as you practice.

"He played me on my table and his very first shot he got a 142 break. He's still got it, he just has to sharpen up the edges, hopefully that doesn't happen on Monday."


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