Stephen Hendry to face nephew James Cahill
The World Snooker Championship draw for 2023 has been announced, with seven-time world champion Stephen Hendry set to face his nephew James Cahill in the first round. Despite having played only three matches this season and winning just one frame, Hendry continues to compete through an invitational tour card that was renewed at the end of last season.
An Intriguing First-Round Opponent
James Cahill is the nephew of Hendry’s ex-wife and famously reached the last 16 as an amateur in 2019, beating Ronnie O’Sullivan in the first round at the Crucible Theatre. He represents an interesting challenge for Hendry as the two face off in the World Snooker Championship qualifying draw.
The Format of the Qualifiers
The qualifiers for the World Snooker Championship operate with a tiered structure. Starting with players seeded from 81-112 against those seeded from 113-144 in the first round. A number of amateurs have been invited as top-ups, some through invitations by the WPBSA for achievements in the last year and others as replacements for the currently suspended group of professionals.
The players seeded from 49 to 80 will enter the fray and take on the winners from round one in round two. Those ranked from 17-48 will finally join the action in round three. With two victories then required to secure one of the 16 coveted spots at the venue stages. Every round will be contested over two sessions and 19 frames, to the delight of many players and fans.
Interesting Battles Ahead
Aside from Hendry’s fixture, there are several other intriguing battles in the 2023 World Snooker Championship qualifying draw. Former world champion Ken Doherty will face 12-time women’s world champion Reanne Evans. While women’s world number one Mink Nutcharut takes on Dechawat Poomjaeng in an all-Thai affair. Ng On Yee will encounter Michael Holt – one of the amateur top-ups in the field. And her Hong Kong compatriot Marco Fu will entertain Martin O’Donnell. The winner of that tie will challenge Jimmy White. Who is looking for a return to the Crucible Theatre for the first time since 2006.