Snooker: Hendry targets improvements after comeback ends in defeat

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(Reuters) - Seven-times world snooker champion Stephen Hendry was happy with his performance in his first match in nine years at the Gibraltar Open but said he would need to improve if he was to fulfil his dream of returning to the World Championship in April.

The 52-year-old, making his comeback after retiring in 2012, rolled back the years with a century-break of 107, the 776th century of his career, before losing 4-1 to Matthew Selt in Tuesday's first round.

"I really felt the nerves when I put my suit on in the hotel room. That's when it really hit me, which is a good sign because without nerves you can't perform," he said.

"But it needs to be more nerves of excitement and expectation rather than nerves of not knowing what's going to happen. I was generally quite happy.

"My game isn't good enough yet to qualify for the World Championship. I think there is work to be done. I've got about a month of practice to get it better."

Hendry's Twitter handle @SHendry775 is a recognition of the 775 centuries he had made before Tuesday but the Scot insists it does not need updating.

"I think I'll only change it when I get to 800. Qualifying for the Crucible is the goal, and making 800 centuries is another goal," he said.

Hendry turned professional as a 16-year-old and won his first world title in 1990.

(Reporting by Arvind Sriram in Bengaluru; Editing by Shri Navaratnam)