SEVEN-TIME champion Stephen Hendry survived a test of nerves yesterday to book his place at the Betfred.com World Championship.
Hendry, 43, succeeded where six-time champion Steve Davis and six-time runner-up Jimmy White both failed this week by coming through the qualifying tournament, beating Chinese player Yu Delu 10-6.
"I'm very pleased to be through," Hendry said.
"I'm used to playing at the World Championship and it puts that little bit of extra pressure on you, to have to play an extra match to get there."
Hendry, who last had to qualify in 1988 and has been ever-present at the Crucible since 1986, has fallen to 23rd in the world rankings.
He awaits today's draw, knowing he will have to take on one of the 16 seeded players. Hendry racked up breaks of 73, 69, 76 and 88 in converting an overnight 6-3 lead into a 10-6 victory.
Hendry said: "The most important thing was to just go out with the mindset of needing to win the match."
Belgian teenager Luca Brecel yesterday shattered Hendry's record to become the youngest player to earn a place at the Betfred.com World Championship.
Brecel, who is 17 years and 36 days old, beat Mark King 10-8 in the final round of qualifying, his fourth win of the week.
Hendry, who was also 17 but almost two months older when he first qualified in 1986.
Ken Doherty survived a tense finish to edge past Anthony Hamilton 10-9 and book his place at the Crucible.