STUART Bingham suffered a disappointing exit at the International Championship in China despite coming from 4-0 down to level at 4-4 in his first-to-six match with qualifier Aditya Mehta.
It was a long way to go for the world number 10 from Vange to fall at the first hurdle, and he’ll see it as a missed opportunity to progress against India’s Mehta, who moved up to 67th in the rankings with yesterday’s 6-4 win.
Bingham, who went into the event on the back of powering into the semi-finals of the Premier League, made a poor start and looked like he might be on the end of a whitewash at one stage.
Mehta, who is based in Sheffield during the snooker season, won the first four frames against an out-of-sorts Bingham, despite a top break of just 47. Bingham fought back to 4-4 and looked favourite to win the match.
But Mehta proved stronger at the business end, winning frame nine by clearing from brown to pink then securing victory in the next.
Bingham, 36, tweeted afterwards: “Fair play to Adi, a good solid player! But... the table cost me two frames before the break! Nice roll out! Cheers! Gutted!”
Mehta, 27 who was celebrating his 27th birthday, gave himself the perfect present with his best-ever result at a ranking event to set-up an intriguing match with Judd Trump today.
“I didn’t deserve to be 4-0 up, the balls just favoured me,” said the player from Maharashtra.
“I knew I would have to work hard for those last two frames. I tend to play better when matches go close, so when it was 4-4 I still felt confident. I potted some good balls in the last two frames.
“It’s definitely my best win so far because Stuart has been one of the best players in the world this season.
“It’s great for my country. I will need to play better tomorrow and I am ready for it.”