STUART BINGHAM said he was frustrated by his last 32 defeat to Peter Ebdon at the UK Championship – 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.”
Ball Run started the tournament at the York Barbican with a couple of centuries in a 6-1 win over amateur Jordan Brown then followed up with 143 to clinch a 6-3 victory over Anthony Hamilton in the next round.
That break (which you can watch in the YouTube footage below) was the tournament’s highest but has since been beaten by Neil Robertson’s 145.
Aussie Robertson has progressed to a semi-final with world No 1 Mark Selby, while the tournament’s fairytale story David Grace faces Liang Wenbo in the other last-four clash.
World No 2 Bingham said: “I think Robertson is confident after his win at the Champion of Champions and he is a good bet to win here again. I could do with Selby not winning really, otherwise it will be very difficult to try and overtake him in the rankings as world No 1 this season.
“But I think most people would like to see the winner come from the other semi really. It would be good if Wenbo gives China another champion and, of course, it would be great to see Grace do it. It would be good for the sport.”
Bingham now has a busy week of social engagements in front of him before he flies on Friday to take part in the Gibraltar Open (December 9-13). Bingham starts against Craig Steadman on Saturday and a win will see him face Ding Junhui in the next round.
Then it is onto a match at the German Masters Qualifiers in Wigan on December 17 or 18 before flying to Belfast to be a guest at the BBC’s Sports Personality of the Year ceremony on Sunday, December 20.
After that Bingham is looking forward to his first Christmas as snooker’s world champion, but especially to spending quality time with wife Michelle, daughter Tegan and four-year-old son Shea, and his parents Maureen and Eddie.
Bingham and Michelle will be hosting Christmas dinner for 18 people at their home in Basildon, and he said: “I’m always so busy on the tour and with other commitments, so I am looking forward to some time with my family.”
* Tickets are still on sale here for the Dafabet Irish Legends Cup in County Kildare on January 23-24, where Bingham will be on an England team alongside Ronnie O’Sullivan, Jimmy White and Tony Knowles, as they face an Ireland side featuring Ken Doherty, Mark Allen, Joe Swail and Fergal O’Brien.
* Bingham is looking for a logo sponsor. Benefits include VIP invites to tournaments, guest appearances from the snooker world champion at your special events and publicity through a large social media following. For more details please contact us here.