Bingham ready for Masters clash against formidable Higgins

STUART BINGHAM admits he will have to beat the “player of the year so far” to make the semi finals at the Dafabet Masters. 

Ball Run takes on four-time world champion John Higgins in a last-eight clash at 7pm at Alexandra Palace tonight (January 15). 

Scot Higgins, who has claimed the Australian Goldfields Open and International Championship title so far this season, booked his quarter-final spot with three centuries in a 6-4 win over China’s Liang Wenbo.  

Bingham, who progressed with a 6-4 win over Ding Junhui on Sunday, said: “John has won two tournaments already this season and is probably the player of the year so far. 

“He looks back to his best now so I know I will have to bring my A-game if I am to beat him.” 

The win over Ding was only Bingham’s second-ever victory at the Masters, the first coming when he was a wildcard at the event towards the start of his career.

The world champion was on for a 147 in the third frame before missing a tricky cut on a yellow on 120, but felt it was still not his best display overall. 

He said: “Of course it was good to get my first Masters win but it was just as important to get my 2016 off to a good start after the season I’ve had so far. 

“It was not a good performance but a win is a win. I have been hitting the ball well on the practice table but I need to take that into matches. 

“Like me, Ding has not been at his best this season so that made it a bit of a battle. 

“It also meant I kept up my good winning steak against him. I feel a bit for him because I had a player like that a few years ago called Drew Henry who beat me six or seven times on the trot before I finally beat him. But Ding is a quality player and he'll be back.” 

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