STUART BINGHAM is looking forward to facing his practice partner and friend Sean O’Sullivan in a qualifier tomorrow – and admits the young Londoner is an emerging talent.
World No 9 Bingham takes on the 23-year-old from Whitechapel on Tuesday (Sep 26) in Preston as he bids to secure a spot at November’s International Championship in China.
O’Sullivan (pictured), nicknamed The Storm, is in his fourth season on snooker’s top Tour and Ballrun knows he is not to be taken lightly.
He said: “I’m good friends with Sean, he has the support of a nice family and I regularly practice with him.
“He is improving all the time, he has a good cue action and a great long game that creates chances for him.
“He perhaps needs to work on his break-building a bit but he is a dangerous opponent for sure in a best-of-11 so I’ll have to be at my best.”
Bingham felt fine margins cost him on this month’s trips to India and China but felt there were positives to take.
Ballrun beat Duane Jones and Matt Selt (both 4-1) then lost in a decider to Essex rival Mark King at the Indian Open.
He then picked up a 5-2 victory over Alfie Burden at the Yushan World Open before being pipped 5-4 by Cao Yupeng.
Bingham said: “I felt I played okay in India and I was a ball away from beating Mark, But I made a mistake in playing for a blue rather than stunning for a pink, and it cost me.
“Then I had a useful couple of days off before a good win over Alfie.
“I did not feel great before the break against Cao but my manager Gary Purkiss said he was probably playing at 95 percent of his game and I was more like 50 percent.
I took confidence from that and made 70 odd and missed a black on a max to get back into it.
“He stayed solid in the final frame but fluked the match ball and that always hurts – especially when you have worked hard to get back into a match.
“I can’t say I didn’t have my chances to go further into the tournaments on the trip. A couple of last 16 spots and last 32 is okay but I really want to be pushing for quarter-finals and semis but I’ll take it on the chin.”