News & Events

Bingham faces Chinese trio in week of qualifiers

STUART BINGHAM is hoping to kick-start his season as he embarks on qualifying matches against three Chinese players at Preston Guild Hall this week.

Ballrun starts his busy schedule against against Chen Zifan in the Indian Open at 4pm on Tuesday (Aug 1), then faces Tian Pengfai in the European Masters on Friday, and he finishes against Me Xi Wen in the World Open next Tuesday.

He said: “I saw Chen play a bit at the Academy in Sheffield when I was there for the World Championships and he looks good.

“I don’t know a lot about any of them to be fair but I think it will be more about how I play – and if I play as well as I can I should win.

“Playing these three this week just shows you how many Chinese players there are on Tour now and I think I read that it is 29 and more than we have from Scotland and Wales.

“They bring something to the game for sure and you have to respect them for being good enough to be on the Tour.

“I find that many of the Chinese players can be really or hot or cold when they play and perhaps haven’t quite found that middle ground to grind out results yet, like Mark Selby does or me to an extent sometimes.

“The best-of-sevens in the first two qualifiers will be a bit of a lottery and I really want to qualify for the World Open in that best of nine.

“But after six weeks off from playing I really want to qualify for all three so I am busy during that part of the season.”

This week also marked the sixth anniversary of Bingham’s breakthrough ranking title win at the 2011 Australian Goldfields Open.

And Ballrun shared a memorable photo of him lifting the trophy at the Bendigo Stadium on social media this week.

He said: “That was massive for me – it was my first pro win and it really kick-started my career to be honest.

“My mum and dad also shared the interview I did afterwards and it made me realise that I have improved a bit with that side of things too since then.

“It’s good news I’ve had to give the winner’s speech a few times now and I am getting more comfortable with being in the public eye.”