Stephen Hendry angered ITV presenter Jill Douglas after admitting he has never seen the women’s snooker world champion Baipat Siripaporn play the game. Siripaporn is set to go head-to-head with Judd Trump on Thursday at the Cazoo Champion of Champions in Bolton.
Hendry has been at the University of Bolton Stadium this week to give his thoughts on matches. And as Douglas looked ahead at Siripaporn’s showdown with Trump, she asked the seven-time world champion: “Another player we’ve seen – the women’s world champion, Baipat Siripaporn. Great to have her included, how impressed have you been with her play?
Hendry replied: “I have to be honest, I’ve never seen her play Jill.” And Douglas hissed: “Oh come on Stephen.”
Despite his admission, Hendry was still willing to provide his assessment of the upcoming match as he added: “She’s playing Judd Trump. Look, she’s not going to beat him. She might not even win a frame. But what an experience to be in this event, this prestigious event, and play against the form player of the season.”
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Siripaporn, 24, has enjoyed a breakthrough season this year and became world champion when she defeated Bai Yulu 6-3 in the final of the World Women’s Snooker Championship in March. The victory was her biggest to date and she has now secured a place on the professional World Snooker Tour from the start of next season.
Siripaporn has joined 15 players at the Champion of Champions event and will face either Shaun Murphy or Gary Wilson in the quarter-finals if she can overcome Trump.
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Trump has pedigree in the Champion of Champions and defeated John Higgins in the 2021 final to lift the trophy. The 34-year-old has also finished runner-up on three occasions and hit a maximum 147 break at last year’s tournament. And ahead of his encounter with Siripaporn, the Bristol-born ace said: “I think everyone loves the Champion of Champions, it’s very close to the Masters.
“The Masters being in Ally Pally, the crowd in London is a little bit better, but otherwise the Champion of Champions is almost there. It’s trying to gain its own identity, staying away from other tournaments and trying to do its own thing.
“It’s a tournament I seem to have done better in as I’ve got older and I’ve recognised how big it is, the way it’s run, the way you’re treated in that event. It all makes for a better standard.”
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