Stephen Hendry beats Jimmy White in World Championship qualifying

Jimmy White and Stephen Hendry
Hendry (right) retired in 2012 after losing at the World Championships

Seven-time world champion Stephen Hendry beat old rival Jimmy White in the first round of qualifying for this year's World Championship.

Scot Hendry, playing just his second match since coming out of retirement, came through 6-3 in Sheffield.

The 52-year-old must win another three rounds in qualifying to reach the World Championship, which begins on 17 April.

"I don't think I will have frightened anyone with that performance," Hendry said.

Defeat for Englishman White, 58, means he is likely to lose his place on the tour next season.

"I'm not happy about the way we both played. There was a lot of tension," Hendry told World Snooker TV.

"I was trying to relax and enjoy the occasion. The result probably meant more to Jimmy than it did to me."

Hendry and White have one of the most famous rivalries in the sport - Hendry won their four world finals at the Crucible between 1990 and 1994 - and were practising together before the draw was made.

The standard was far below their previous 60 matches but Hendry, who retired after his last appearance at the Crucible in 2012, came through an edgy encounter riddled with mistakes by both players.

He showed his familiar fighting qualities in the third frame, which he clinched despite needing a snooker with only pink and black remaining.

He punished White again in the sixth when, after White missed a red when leading 62-0, Hendry cleared the table for a 5-1 lead.

Both players struggled in subsequent frames as White cut the deficit but Hendry closed out the win with a break of 52 shortly before midnight.

"Every match is a bonus and helps me get used to being out there," Hendry said.

"Next season will be a different matter because I will have more competitive snooker under my belt."

Hendry, who lost to Matthew Selt in his only previous match since his comeback, will face China's Xu Si next.

White may now have to return to Q School to keep his place on the tour, or rely on a wild card.

"To come into the match and play like that is really frustrating and demoralising," White said.

"I can't really think about what I'm going to do at the moment.

"I'm just going to wait and see how the results go in the next few days, and then make a decision."

Earlier, Andy Hicks reached the second qualifying round by beating 12-time women's world champion Reanne Evans 6-2.

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