STUART Bingham has vowed to come back fighting next season after falling at the first hurdle of the World Snooker Championship at the Crucible today.
Bingham faced former world champion Ken Doherty – the oldest competitor in Sheffield at 44 – as favourite and held a one-frame advantage heading into the second session.
But he spent more time in his seat than on the baize as Doherty threaded together six frames in a row for a 10-5 victory and his first triumph at the World Championship since 2006.
This season has not been without its highs for Bingham, having reached the last four of the UK Championship and the final of the inaugural Champion of Champions tournament.
However the world nuber six admitted his form deserted him against a player ranked more than 20 places lower than him at the Crucible – before promising to start next season with a bang.
“I was shocking to be fair, I must have made five 20 breaks and I just couldn’t seem to get into the match,” he said.
“Ken had done a number on me [in the second session] and I was thinking I hadn’t really got around the black spot.
“He’s a good player, a former world champion and he just stopped me really. "Saying that, I was poor in every attribute of my game, my safety was poor and I just felt all over the place in certain parts.
“I probably missed a chance [in the first session], I maybe should have been 6-3 or 7-2 ahead with the chances I had. "But I lost six frames on the trot and I had a chance in each of those frames. I can’t put my finger on it but I’ll be back stronger.”
Doherty will face either John Higgins or Alan McManus in the second round on Friday – but Bingham issued a word of warning for the man they call ‘Crafty Ken’. “I think Ken will have to improve. One of my mates said he only went for about two long balls in the first session,” added Bingham.
“But he didn’t really need to pot anything about three foot in the second session because I was sticking them in the balls.
“Obviously he’s Crafty Ken for a reason, he can get your weaknesses and exploit them really – but I think he’ll have to improve maybe 20 per cent to have any chance.”
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