Stephen Hendry has had an illustrious career that has seen him capture seven world titles and six Masters titles and now as well as having to qualify for the UK Championship and the German Masters it also means that he will miss out on the Masters for the first time in 23 years.
Stephen's last final was at the 2006 UK Championship and his last title was the 2005 Malta Cup. Since then he has had bursts of form including a run to the 2009 world championship quarter-finals and a 147 on route and another 147 at the 2011 Welsh Open but not much else to show for it.
People would attribute his age to his loss of form but I don't belive it to be. He is only 42 at the moment and Steve Davis was still going strong at his age but I think he has lost a lot of his motivation to practice as many hours as he used to and to practice with other players on a regular basis.
I hope for his sake that he can sort out whatever is troubling his game (most often recently his bad long-potting) and get back in to the elite top 16 because he is still to good a player to be not on our screens as often. When he is in amongst the black spot he is still as dangerous as ever.
Could going to the qualifiers re-awaken him and get him to love the game once again like Mark Williams did a few years back or is it all over for the one they call 'The King of the Crucible'? Only time will tell.