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STUART BINGHAM says he has been impressed with Scott Donaldson's progress this season and is braced for a tough test against the young Scot at the China Open.

Donaldson, who has just turned 23, enjoyed the best result of his career last month when he beat China’s Zhou Yuelong 5-0 to reach the semi-finals of the Welsh Open.

And although he lost to Judd Trump, who in turn lost to Bingham in the final, Donaldson collected £20,000 in prize money which saw him move up from 77 to 67 in the world rankings.

Donaldson also beat Bingham 4-3 in a European Masters qualifier in September and Ballrun is preparing for another battle when they square off in Beijing on Monday, March 27.

Bingham said: "Him getting to the last four of the Welsh Open shows he is starting to find his feet on Tour.

Read more: Bingham: Donaldson has found his feet on Tour so will be a tough test in China

STUART BINGHAM has admitted to breaking World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association (WPBSA) rules on betting on matches involving other players.

The world No 3 found out in December that allegations were being investigated by Nigel Mawer, the chairman of the WPBSA's disciplinary committee.

And in a follow up meeting with Mawer in January, Bingham confirmed he had placed accumulator bets on the outcome of other matches because he did not know it was against the governing body's rules to do so.

Bingham is now awaiting the conclusion of the investigation before he discovers the penalty.

Read more: Stuart Bingham comment on betting investigation

STUART BINGHAM said his Welsh Open win felt almost as sweet as becoming world champion after taking his first title for two years with a nail-biting victory over Judd Trump in the final in Cardiff.

Ballrun was 4-0 up but trailed 8-7 heading into an epic finale before steeling himself to level with a brilliant clearance which concluded with a gutsy double on the pink and a celebratory fist-pump (pictured below).

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The Basildon star, 40, then kept his nerve with a match-winning clearance in the decider to add the coveted Home Nations title to his 2011 Australian Goldfields Open crown, the 2014 Shanghai Masters title and, of course, his fairytale 2015 World Championship triumph at the Crucible.

It was a sweet moment for Bingham, whose wife Michelle had surprised him by traveling up to the Motorpoint Arena in Cardiff with their new baby girl Marnie to see him win the £70,000 prize.

Read more: Welsh win felt almost as good as the worlds

STUART BINGHAM says his solid showing in the Championship League over the past week was the ideal preparation heading into this month's Players Championship in Llandudno (March 6-12).

Ballrun progressed from Group 6 with three wins from six in Coventry and then won six out of six in Group 7 to move into a semi-final with Mark Selby.

And although he missed out on a final with John Higgins and the chance to secure a place in the Winners' Group after a 3-2 defeat to the world No 1, Bingham was happy to get some solid match practice.

He said: "I've gone through the group stage yesterday with six out of six and played some good stuff and against Selby it just came down to one error in the decider and he cleared up.

Read more: Coventry clashes were good preparation for Llandudno

STUART BINGHAM was thrilled to see Anthony Hamilton win his maiden ranking title - despite a grueling semi-final defeat to his friend at the German Masters.

Ballrun was out of sorts in the 6-4 loss in Berlin and the Sherriff of Pottingham, 45, went on to claim a memorable comeback win over Ali Carter in the following day's final.

World No 2 Bingham was not at his best but put in a solid week with wins over Alfie Burden (5-2), Yu Delu (5-3), Zhang Yong (5-3), David Gilbert (5-4) and the highly-rated Yan Bingtao (5-2) to reach the last four.

But after fighting back to 5-4 from 5-1 down against Hamilton, a mistake in his break-off in the tenth frame - when Bingham hit the blue - gave Hamilton a chance to close the match out.

Bingham said: "Beforehand I was in the toilets with Anthony as we were putting on our bow ties and I said, 'I hope you are as nervous as me?'. He said, 'Yeah, I'm twitching big time at the moment!'.

"Obviously playing in front of 2,500 people, and waiting around all day to play, made it hard to enjoy when it finally started.

"I was gutted with my own performance and put on Twitter that I was very disappointed. But I texted Anthony late last night to say I was well chuffed for him.

Read more: Hamilton success is richly deserved

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