On this day in 2012: Stephen Hendry racks up 10th maximum in Crucible history

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Stephen Hendry shrugged off the effects of a 10,000-mile round trip to China as he fired the 10th maximum break in the history of the World Championship, on this day a decade ago.

The seven-time world champion only arrived back in the country the previous day following a long-haul business trip to the city of Changchun – close to the North Korean border.

His stunning 147 break came in the seventh frame of his first-round meeting with Stuart Bingham as he opened up an 8-1 overnight lead in Sheffield.

The Scot had earlier joked that playing with jet-lag might help his game, after a difficult season in which he had struggled for results.

But he could not have dreamed of such a strong display on the opening day of the tournament. His third Crucible maximum – following similar knocks in 1995 and 2009 – eventually pocketed him £50,000: £40,000 for the 147, and a £10,000 highest-break prize.

“I felt really good out there, and the jet-lag – well, sleep is for wimps!” he said. “It’s the new way, fly in to Sheffield the day before with no practice!”

Then aged 43, Hendry punched the air on potting the straightforward black to clinch the reward, and raised his glass of water as the crowd stood to acclaim his feat.

Neil Robertson, left, and Ken Doherty, centre, paused their match to watch Stephen Hendry
Neil Robertson, left, and Ken Doherty, centre, paused their match to watch Stephen Hendry (Anna Gowthorpe/PA)

Ken Doherty and Neil Robertson, former world champions competing on the other side of the arena, paused their match as Hendry moved close to the magical mark, and together with Bingham offered their congratulations.

Hendry went on to beat Bingham 10-4 and then defeated number one seed John Higgins in round two before suffering a 13-2 quarter-final exit at the hands of Stephen Maguire – his final Crucible appearance.

Four-time winner Higgins is the only player to have registered a 147 break at the World Championship since, doing so against Kurt Maflin in 2020.

Like Hendry, six-time champion Ronnie O’Sullivan has also achieved the feat on three occasions, in 1997, 2003, 2008. An exclusive list of just seven men is completed by Cliff Thorburn (1983), Jimmy White (1992), Mark Williams (2005) and Ali Carter (2008).

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