Bingham looking ahead to crunch clash with Stevens in China

STUART BINGHAM is looking for a positive run in Romania this week ahead of a hugely important clash with Matthew Stevens in China early next month.

Ballrun will face Welshman Stevens in his opening match at the China Open (April 2-8) knowing a victory will go a long way towards securing his top 16 spot and an automatic place at the 2018 World Championship.

But before that he will take on Aussie Neil Robertson in at the Romanian Snooker Masters invitational at 7pm on Wednesday (March 14).

Bingham said: “I’m looking forward to Romania. It will be the top 16 bar a couple, so it should be good quality.

“And it is a venue I’ve played at before in an exhibition against Ronnie O’Sullivan. that was in front of a crowd of about 2,000 and the atmosphere was great.

“I’d like to have a good run ahead of my match with Matthew in China, which could be vital in my own race to the Crucible.

“I’ve just had a look and I am 15th in the rankings ahead of the Players Championship so that match in Beijing could be crucial for me.”

Bingham reached the last eight of the Gibraltar Open last week with wins over Andrew Higginson (4-0), Mark King (4-2), Noppon Saengkham (4-2) and Ken Doherty (4-1).

The Essex pro went out in the quarter-finals to China’s Cao Yupeng, who lost the final to Ryan Day.

Bingham said: “It was just some bad form from me early on against Cao and then he took advantage by not missing a ball in the final three frames. And that’s just the way it goes sometimes.”