Stephen Hendry and Steve Davis first contested the UK Championship final 20 years ago.

The following year, 1990, they took part in what remains one of the best finals ever played.

Hendry won both matches and leads Davis 43-18 in career meetings but the two players are arguably more closely matched now then they have been since those two Preston finals.

There's no doubt Hendry is struggling to follow a good performance with one equally as strong. He still plays very well in spells but at other times things are just not happening for him.

Davis remains a battler, as he proved in beating Michael Judge 9-7 to qualify, and beat Hendry the last time they played in a ranking event, in the semi-finals of the 2005 UK Championship.

It's a classic pairing between the two greatest players of all time. The snooker they produce may not live up to the billing but it is still a match to relish.


Anonymous said...

Mon the Hendo

kimball said...

You make me smile Dave!
Took you nearly a minute to shut me up:-)

Regarding the match, it is not so much about high quality stuff and none has been seen as yet in Telford, anyway.

They are both great battlers, like in different st(ages) of a Mohammed Ali.

So Davis shone in the UK 2005!
I think Hendry shone as much in the
Crucible 2009.
The matches against Junhui and Murphy were great stuff.

It is a lot about winning today,
and does Davis have more willpower?

Bookies don´t think so and neither
do I.

Matt said...

Stephen could really do with a win here to aid his falling ranking, hope he can do himself justice.

shaun said...

get on davis with 3 frame start at stan james at even money

Anonymous said...

9-4 hendry

Anonymous said...

Davis has a very good chance in this one - it'll be interesting to see the contrast between two players both long past their best, one who has adapted his game accordingly (Davis) against another who refuses to compromise in the same way (Hendry).

First time I saw them play each other was in the Mercantile Credit Classic semi finals 23 years ago - Davis was 29; Hendry was 17. Extraordinary to think that nearly a quarter of a century on, they'll be playing each other on national television again today for what might very well be the last time.

Since Tom Watson's astonishing performance at The Open this year, I assume other great golfers well past their prime have taken encouragement from what he did, and I also wonder whether the same applies to past greats in other sports.

As snooker is the only other high-profile sport in which players can go on competing for so long, the question probably applies to Hendry and Davis more than anyone else.

Anonymous said...

Great stuff! Enjoying this immensely!

A full house to watch two of the "old" favourites. It would be the same if Jimmy White was playing.
Who was it said the biggest mistake snooker ever made was "getting rid" of it's established stars to quickly.

Trying not to be unkind, but who would you rather watch, White or Gerard Green, Drago or Barry Hawkins!!? No contest.

Mat Wilson

Anonymous said...

Yes sure is snooker's fault that one of it's established stars ended up in a jungle and missed a ranking event...

Anonymous said...

To those thinking Davis or Hendry stand a chance in this tournament, have you seen the players in their half of the draw? O'Sullivan, Cope, Wenbo, Robertson, Higgins.

Tom Watson? Do me a favour! They've got no chance.

kimball said...

Better the jubgle, than Pontins!

Anonymous said...

Did I say Cope? Make that Selby. What a player!

Witz78 said...

Who ever said it was snooker who "got rid" of its established stars too quickly tho??

If anything the current outdated and flawed ranking system always favours the elite players.

Hopefully among Hearns plans to change the game will be a revamp the ranking to stop the staggered minimum points tariffs, the laddered system of qualification and the limited prospects for newcomers to survive on tour. To survive the game needs to be weeded out of the deadwood in the lower rankings, those journeymen who are scrambling a few qualifying wins, making a pittance but doing enough to halt the prospects of young talent rising through the ranks.

Open the game up like it was in the early 90s i say.

As for the Davis - Hendry match, bar his 3 centuries Hendry was dire and would have been punished by most for his countless errors.

Sadly Davis's breakbuilding game has deteriorated and he couldnt really maintain position and scraped 30 or 40 breaks here and there then won safety exchanges to nick frames and keep in tow. It was classic 80s matchplay to be fair.

I was surprised Davis was so attacking with some of his play though in trying to open the reds, develop things as given his inability to kill frames off in one visit, i thought a scrappy safety battle would have favoured him and gave him a better chance.

Hes still got some fight left in him yet and can continue to qualify for events in the future im sure.

And for now he can focus on laising with Hearn and coming up with a masterplan to change the sport for the better.

Anonymous said...

jubgle where's that???

Anonymous said...

"get on davis with 3 frame start at stan james at even money"

Its 9-9 now then do we get a re-spotted black?

Anonymous said...

Great match. Also very pleased to see Ebdon back to winning ways, to beat Trump is a good victory.

kimball said...

That,s in the Austrailian JUNGLE!!

Betty Logan said...

If you ask me opening up the game caused the damage in the first place. I wonder how many people watch Davis/Hendry and how many watched Selby/Cope. Higher quality snooker isn't always the most entertaining, I loved the Davis/Hendry match despite the low quality. History plays such a big part in snooker. It's saying something though that somone can fire in three centuries during a match and still be deemed to have player poorly!

Anonymous said...

That,s not right Kimball it's that's :)

Anonymous said...

Agreed Betty!