Stephen Hendry's Crucible record unbeatable - Davis

Steve Davis says he cannot imagine anyone bettering Stephen Hendry's tally of seven World Championship titles.

Hendry, 43, retired on Tuesday after a 13-2 quarter-final defeat by Stephen Maguire ended his 27th consecutive appearance at the Crucible.

"John Higgins is on four, it's very hard to see anyone reaching seven," said Davis, a six-time world champion.

Hendry's trophy cabinet

  • UK Championship: 1989, 1990, 1994, 1995, 1996
  • World Championship: 1990, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1999
  • Masters: 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1996

"I can't really envisage it happening, there's just going to be more and more players knocking each other out."

Davis, 54, beat Hendry in the 1989 World Championship semi-finals en route to winning his last title at the Crucible, with Scotsman Hendry turning the tables at the same stage five years later.

Hendry himself did not rule out someone overtaking his record eventually, even if the odds are against it.

"I would say no, because there are so many great players competing against each other to win every tournament," he told BBC Sport. "But records are there to be broken. John Higgins has won four and is good enough to win another four; it is hard to say."

BBC pundit and 1985 world champion Dennis Taylor believes Hendry's achievements mark him out as the stand-out player in the sport's history.

"It's been an unbelievable career," Taylor told BBC Radio 5 live. "For me - and I've said it since 1990 - he's the greatest player ever to lift a snooker cue.

"I can't see Stephen changing his mind; once he decides on something, that's it. Once he decided he'd be the greatest player in the world, he achieved that."

Hendry honoured at Crucible

While Davis, the world number 39, has continued to play on the tour along with another legend, Jimmy White [ranked 44], Hendry has opted to quit 13 years after winning his last world title in 1999.

The Scot, who dropped out of the elite top 16 earlier this season and is currently ranked 23, admitted having to qualify for this year's World Championship for the first time since 1988 "was not a nice feeling".

Davis, who lost the 1989 and 1990 UK Championship finals to Hendry, continued: "In a way I feel that it's quite a sad day for me.

"Jimmy White would probably feel that even though he's not at the cutting edge any more, he's enjoyed the challenge of trying to stay within the game, and I've enjoyed the same challenge, but obviously Stephen didn't.

"You could still have business interests and still play, but he's chosen not to. I wouldn't say it's the wrong decision - it's just down to the individual."