Bingham eyeing second Crucible crown after thrilling opening-round win

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Sportsbeat
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Stuart Bingham edged past Chinese superstar Ding Junhui to maintain his bid of securing a second World Championship crown
Stuart Bingham edged past Chinese superstar Ding Junhui to maintain his bid of securing a second World Championship crown

Stuart Bingham believes he can make a serious run at a second Crucible title after “one of the best 70 breaks in World Championship history” helped him reach the second round.

The Basildon ace beat Chinese superstar Ding Junhui in a delayed final-frame decider 10-9 to set up a second-round clash with fellow qualifier Jamie Jones.

The match was high on both quality and drama, with four centuries and 15 breaks above 50, while the match was halted at 9-9 as it threatened to run into the evening session.

The players had to wait for Mark Allen to finish off his evening match before returning to the table and it was Ding who looked set to prevail.

He was well-placed in the balls and on a break of 45 but a missed red opened the door for Bingham and he made a brilliant 70 break to win.

“I haven’t got a clue how I did it. He missed a difficult red and I have produced one of the best 70s the Crucible has ever seen,” he said.

“I’m over the moon to get through that game, it was a classic match. I was gutted to get pulled off at 9-9, but it probably did us both a favour to chill out for a few hours.

"I understand the decision to take us off but it was a nightmare. It's not something you want to go through.

“The first eight or nine minutes of that deciding frame had some unbelievable safety. We weren’t giving each other a chance.

“It can only give me confidence. My back was against the wall, I produced some good snooker and hopefully it can help me go further.”

Despite winning the Masters last year, Bingham has fallen to 18 in the world and had to qualify for the World Championships.

But he will be the favourite to beat Jones and reach the quarter-finals, despite the Welshman hammering Stephen Maguire 10-4 in his match.

A place in the quarter-finals is on the line and the winner of that tie, which begins on Saturday, could face defending champion Ronnie O’Sullivan in the last eight.

The Rocket is due to face 16th seed Anthony McGill, a player he has never lost against.

“It’s going to be tough against Jamie Jones. It’s his first season back on and he is probably playing the best snooker of his life,” Bingham added.

“After what he went through and coming through Q School straight away, at the end of the year he is in the last 16 of the World Championship.

“He is going to be one hell of a tough player.”

Watch the World Snooker Championship live on Eurosport and Eurosport app from April 17- May 3