Bingham ready for a tough Crucible opener against debutant Carty

STUART BINGHAM says he is prepared for a tough test after drawing Crucible debutant Ashley Carty in his World Championship this weekend.

The six-time ranking event winner from Essex will face Rotherham’s unseeded Carty in a best-of-19 clash over two sessions on Friday (July 31) and Saturday.

World No 82 Carty, 25, held off a late comeback to beat Rob Milkins 10-8 in his final qualifying match and then gave an emotional post-match interview after picking up a result which ensured he kept his Tour card and booked a first appearance at snooker’s top tournament.

Reigning Masters champion Bingham, who is the 14th seed in Sheffield, said: “I remember when I got to the Crucible for the first time it was very emotional for me, so it is good to see how much it means to Ashley. He deserves his place after a great week for him in qualifying.

“He played well against Rob and he has improved over the past couple of years so it will be a tough game, but I’m looking forward to it. I’m driving up as we speak and I’m looking forward to Friday morning and getting going.

“I think I might have seen Ashley play in a ProAm in Leeds but I don’t recall actually playing against him so he will be an unknown quantity for me.

“But I do know he will be match sharp after coming through the qualifiers so I won’t be underestimating him at all, and I know he’ll be enjoying every minute.

“And that is the same from my point of view as I always love heading for the Crucible.

“I was talking to my new coach Gary Filtness last night and this morning, and he said he see how I have switched from being a bit anxious to much more up for it today.

“And that is the case. I really can’t wait for it all to get started now and I’m hoping to make some more unforgettable memories again this year.”