London, May 2(ANI): Seven-time snooker world champion Stephen Hendry has announced his retirement, and it has come as a shock to many top snooker figures, who have paid tribute to him.
Hendry announced his retirement after a 13-2 defeat to Stephen Maguire in the Betfred.com World Championship quarterfinals in Sheffield, but Maguire said he was not aware that his opponent was planning to retire.
"I'm shocked. I totally wasn't expecting that there. I don't know why (he is retiring). I'm speechless. He's left a great legacy. He's the best player to ever pick up a cue in my eyes. It's going to take someone to win a lot of tournaments to equal him," The Daily Mirror quoted Maguire, as saying.
Jimmy White, who has retained a keen rivalry with Hendry over the years after the Scot beat him in four Crucible finals in 1990, 1992, 1993 and 1994, wrote on Twitter: "He was and is an unbelievable snooker player and has nothing to prove. I hope he enjoys his retirement he really deserves it!
"He's always put snooker first, been a model professional, credit to the game and I'll see him in the legends tour this year for more battles. I thank him sincerely for some of the best matches and memories of my own career. I'm not sure his records will ever be equalled!" he added.
Shaun Murphy, the 2005 world champion, wrote on Twitter: "Most successful snooker player of all time, Stephen Hendry retires. Can't believe it."
Former world number three Neal Foulds added: "Probably the greatest snooker player ever. I wish him well with whatever he does outside of playing professionally." (ANI)
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