PLtheRef wrote:As some have said I think motivation may have had a part to do with it. At a relatively early age he'd achieved what he always described as the one last ambition he'd ever have in the sport, to win that seventh world championship, and even that came later than people would have thought when he lifted the sixth trophy at the age of 27. Having won that, what else was there left to achieve? Obviously the brigade of 92 just began to emerge into their prime towards the end of the 1990s with the silverware shared around a lot more than it was done in the 1980s or early 1990s when Hendry really did begin to dominate. As many would suspect Hendry's form did dip having become a parent but he did still win the Masters, UK and World Championships in his first year as a father. Maybe a dip in confidence having lost a World Championship final for the first time like he did to Doherty where confidence obviously drained as Doherty forged ahead (notably admitting to Doherty that he knew Doherty would get a double he'd been left on a respot to go 7-4 up). People cannot dominate if they see themselves or more importantly are seen to be vulnerable. The end of a 23 match unbeaten run in the UK will only have raised this.
The first sign of the end of the era was losing the final to Mark Williams having led 9-6 and missed what was a relatively straightforward (taking out the pressure of a deciding respot) to take the 1998 Masters title, couple that with first round exits in the World (where he lost the Number 1 spot having had a comfortable margin and needing just to reach the last 16 to keep it) and UK Championships (where he lost to Marcus Campbell 9-0) then the essence of "Yesterdays Man", which he went to the 1999 World Championships with (and less expectations than previously) will have only grown
It could really be a number of factors.
Yes PL very well put, agree with everything you said. I reckon, despite this, Hendry could have really won his 8th Worlds hadn't he taken Ebdon for granted like he did. When he beat Ronnie at the semis, he was so fired up in that match (especially after Ronnie had called him some rude names, partly due to a stupid friend who did Ronnie's head in and made him do that), that when he finnaly beat Ronnie 17-13 and reached the Final Hendry himself has said in an interview that facing Ebdon he had the job done, he really thought beating Ronnie was like title in the bag for him, and it was only a matter of when and not if he would win his 8th Worlds there. Unfortunately for him, things didn't turn out that way and Ebdon has to be said did an amazing job to beat him 18-17.
Hendry wasn't the same player since those losses you rightly mentioned, but that 2002 World Final loss was the final nail in the coffing for him. He still won a few more titles, but nowhere near his best form.