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Seven-time world champion Stephen Hendry will not be entering qualifying for the upcoming World Snooker Championship. Despite being on tour due to an invitational card, Hendry has not had a successful campaign with no wins from five matches so far. He has decided not to enter qualifying this year due to lack of practice time and other commitments between the Tour Championship and World Championship. His place in qualifying will be taken from the 2023 Q School Order of Merit, but it remains uncertain if his invitational card will be renewed by the World Snooker Tour.

Even without Hendry, the qualifying round will feature some big names in the snooker world. Players like Jack Lisowski, Thepchaiya Un-Nooh, Dominic Dale, Anthony McGill, Zhou Yuelong, Hossein Vafaei, and Ryan Day will compete to reach the finale at the Crucible. Former world champions Neil Robertson and Stuart Bingham will also be among the headline names in the qualifying round. As defending champion, Luca Brecel will go in as the top seed and top-16 seeds confirmed for the tournament include Ronnie O’Sullivan, Judd Trump, Mark Allen, Mark Selby, Shaun Murphy, Ding Junhui, Ali Carter, Mark Williams, Zhang Anda, Gary Wilson, Kyren Wilson, John Higgins, Tom Ford, Barry Hawkins, and Robert Milkins.

Hendry explained on the WST Snooker Club podcast that his decision not to enter qualifying was due to a lack of practice time and other commitments leading up to the tournament. He had been working for TV all week and felt he didn’t have enough opportunity to practice. Despite his absence, the World Snooker Championship promises to be an exciting event with top players competing in the qualifying rounds. The competition within the tour has been described as fierce with notable players vying for a chance to compete at the Crucible.

Hendry’s future on the tour remains uncertain, with questions surrounding the renewal of his invitational card. Having not played regularly over the past two seasons, it is unclear if Hendry even wants his card to be renewed. The decision will ultimately be up to the World Snooker Tour. The upcoming World Snooker Championship is set to be a thrilling event with top players aiming to secure their spot in the finale at the Crucible. Fans can stream all the action live on discovery+, the Eurosport app, and, ensuring they don’t miss any of the exciting snooker matches. With top names like Robertson, Bingham, and defending champion Brecel in the mix, the competition is expected to be intense and entertaining for fans of the sport.

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