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STUART BINGHAM said Ronnie O’Sullivan’s Masters win was no surprise to him, despite the Rocket’s lack of match play on this year’s tour.

World champion Bingham lost 6-3 in the semis at Alexandra Palace to O’Sullivan, who went on to blow away Barry Hawkins 10-1 in the final on Sunday evening.

It was O’Sullivan’s sixth Masters title and came on the back of a first half of a season in which he has only played a handful of times due to a back injury.

Bingham, who beat Ding Junhui and John Higgins to make the last four of snooker’s most prestigious invitational, said: “It was one of those matches for me against Ronnie where I could have been 3-1 up at the break instead of 3-1 down, but that is just how it goes against him.

Read more: Bingham: Ronnie’s Masters class was no surprise

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. 

Read more: Bingham ready for Masters clash against formidable Higgins

STUART BINGHAM admits he had mixed feelings about his run to the semi finals of last week's Dafabet Gibraltar Open.

The world champion showed a return to form as he beat Craig Steadman, Ding Junhui, Thor Chuan Leong, Nigel Bond and Mark King before a 4-0 defeat to Micheal White in the last four. 

White lost to Marco Fu in the final of the European Tour's Event Five, but Bingham was left to reflect on his own ultimately limp exit.

Ball Run said: "If someone had told me I would get to the semis before the tournament I would have snatched their hand off after the form I have been in so far this season. But I cannot be happy with the way I played in that match with Michael White. 

Read more: Bingham left with mixed feelings after Gibraltar run

STUART BINGHAM enjoyed a thrilling night at the PDC World Darts Championship at Alexandra Palace ahead of his return to the iconic North London venue for the Masters in January.

Snooker's world champion, who has been a big darts fan for over a decade, was in the crowd with his manager Gary Purkiss for Monday's action from the oche. 

Bingham started going to the annual event when it was staged at the Circus Tavern in Purfleet, Essex, in 2004, and stays in touch with darts stars including Rod Harrington, Wayne Mardle and reigning world champion Gary Anderson.

And after front-row seats to see the flamboyant Peter Wright ease past Ronny Huybrechts with a 4-0 win, Bingham said: "I love the darts. It's such a good night out and a great spectacle. Barry Hearn has done such a good job in raising its profile...

Read more: Bingham enjoys night at the darts ahead of his own Ally Pally date

STUART BINGHAM said he was frustrated by his last 32 defeat to Peter Ebdon at the UK Championships - but admitted his opponent deserved to win.

The world champion lost 6-3 to world No 34 Ebdon in York this week to end his encouraging start to one of the season's biggest events. 

Bingham said: "Peter got in first in most frames and I think that was crucial because he controlled the pace of the match.

"He spent a lot of time deliberating over his shots and my concentration was not as good as it should have been.

"There has been a lot of moaning about slow play this week but I will hold my hands up and say Peter played some great shots and just played better on the day. He deserved his win."

Read more: Bingham frustrated by Ebdon defeat in York

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