11:24am Saturday 19th April 2014
By Chris Phillips
STUART Bingham is dreaming of a rematch with Ronnie O’Sullivan in the World Snooker Championships which get underway in Sheffield on Saturday.
The Basildon based 37-year-old was heavily beaten by O’Sullivan in the quarter finals of last year’s competition.
But this time the two Essex players can only meet if they both make the final and Bingham would jump at that chance.
“If I play Ronnie this year then I’m in the final and I would certainly take that right now,” said Bingham, who is ranked sixth in the world.
“Last year I go whooped against him but there’s a long way to go before I even think about playing him again.
“You can’t afford to look too far ahead and all I’m really thinking about is playing Ken Doherty in the first round because if I don’t play well in that one then I won’t be playing else at all.”
Doherty won the World Championships back in 1997 but is currently ranked 28th in the world.
However, he may not be the only former champion Bingham finds himself playing against as he could also meet four time winner and world number nine John Higgins.
“It’s a tough looking draw but it’s the World Championships so it’s what you expect,” said Bingham.
“I’ve played Ken quite a few times and I think I’ve had the better of our last few games.
“John is obviously another top player so it would be tough against him too but I’ve been practising hard and I feel ready now.
“I won over in China just recently too so I’m feeling confident and this is the one championship and venue every player looks forward to playing at the most.”
The championships will also be shown live on BBC television, with Bingham in action tomorrow.
And he is already excited about appearing at the Crucible.
“The Crucible for a snooker player is like St Andrew’s if you’re a golfer and Wembley if you’re a footballer,” said Bingham.
“It’s a very special place with a superb atmosphere and obviously I hope to be having a few matches there in the next three weeks.”
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