Monday, 16 January 2012

Bingham: "The honeymoon is over"

Disappointed Stuart Bingham saw his Masters dream crushed at Alexandra Palace and then exclusively told OnCue: "I need to get back on track."

The Basildon potter stepped out to make his third appearance at the prestigious invitation event but it's the first time he's qualified as a member of the top 16.

Picture by Monique Limbos
This rise up the rankings is owed largely to his maiden ranking title win in the Australian Open earlier in the season.

But today he lost 6-3 to title favourite Judd Trump and admitted: "The honeymoon is over."

By his own admission, it wasn't his best performance but in an upbeat conversation after the match he was looking to the future.

He said: "It's great to play at the Masters on merit by working my way into the top 16. I feel like I've earned my place here but I never got going.

"The venue was excellent. I got goosebumps coming down the stairs and I would have loved to have won and played Ronnie, but it wasn't to be.

"I'm still enjoying my practice and I've recently moved to a new club in Rayleigh. I think that will be a good move but I've lost a little bit of self belief since winning in Australia.

"I've not played as well at the PTCs this season and I lost in the first round of the UK so I feel like I need a couple of results again."

As for Judd, he was also a little way short of his glittering best but still scored two centuries and appeared to employ a more measured approach en route to victory.

His safety was in decent shape and he stepped up his game at exactly the right time, winning the final four frames from 3-2 down.

Trump will always be difficult to live with and Bingham says it's tough playing against such formidable opposition.

"You do have it in the back of your mind who you're playing, it's quite daunting and a little bit of pressure builds on your shot. But I'm confident I can return to form," said Bingham.

"I beat four top 16 players at the Australian Open and went on to win it so I've got a different mindset now. I know if I play well I can win a tournament, rather than just striving for it."

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