STUART BINGHAM was thrilled to see Anthony Hamilton win his maiden ranking title – despite a grueling semi-final defeat to his friend at the German Masters.
Ballrun was out of sorts in the 6-4 loss in Berlin and the Sherriff of Pottingham, 45, went on to claim a memorable comeback win over Ali Carter in the following day’s final.
World No 2 Bingham was not at his best but put in a solid week with wins over Alfie Burden (5-2), Yu Delu (5-3), Zhang Yong (5-3), David Gilbert (5-4) and the highly-rated Yan Bingtao (5-2) to reach the last four.
But after fighting back to 5-4 from 5-1 down against Hamilton, a mistake in his break-off in the tenth frame – when Bingham hit the blue – gave Hamilton a chance to close the match out.
Bingham said: “Beforehand I was in the toilets with Anthony as we were putting on our bow ties and I said, ‘I hope you are as nervous as me?’. He said, ‘Yeah, I’m twitching big time at the moment!’.
“Obviously playing in front of 2,500 people, and waiting around all day to play, made it hard to enjoy when it finally started.
“I was gutted with my own performance and put on Twitter that I was very disappointed. But I texted Anthony late last night to say I was well chuffed for him.