STUART BINGHAM admitted he just met a man playing "inspired" snooker after another near miss at the English Open – but says he is very happy with his own solid form heading into next week’s International Championship in China.
Ballrun lost a sensational 6-5 semi-final to Liang Wenbo, and the player they call the Firecracker went on to end Judd Trump’s 14-match winning run in Sunday’s final to win his maiden ranking title and the new Steve Davis Trophy - and secure his place at the Champion of Champions (CoC).
It means Bingham – who has made a final and two semis in the last three tournaments – now needs to win in China to secure his own CoC spot, although a good run and win for a champion who has already booked a spot is likely to be enough to earn the World No 2 his place at next month’s coveted event in Coventry.
Bingham’s English Open campaign began with a remarkable 4-3 comeback win over Robert Milkins and he says that reprieve made him feel like any other success in Manchester felt like a bonus.
He said: “I think 9,999 out of 10,000 times I was out in that situation against Milkins but he got a kick, things changed and I took advantage.