STUART Bingham has admitted his confidence is at a low ebb after being knocked out of the first round of the Welsh Open.

Bingham has had an up and down time since winning his first world title last May.

And he says his 4-1 defeat to world number 68 Anthony Hamilton in the first round in Wales was his lowest point.

“I have not felt like that for a good long while,” said Bingham who said he could only sleep for five or six hours after the match as he turned things over and over in his head.

“I just didn’t feel right in the game. At one stage I didn’t know what I was trying to do, I was finding myself out of position, the table felt quick, I was just all over the place to be honest.”

The Basildon man was the only player in the world’s top 16 to lose in the opening round in Wales though it did take an amazing clearance of 72 from Hamilton – after Bingham had missed a red to the centre pocket on 71 – to finish the world champion off.

“When I made 71 even my manager said it didn’t look like I was going to miss, then I did miss that red and that was that.

“To be fair, it was one of the best three or four clearances I have ever seen and that’s just the way it goes.”

Bingham says he doesn’t think the pressure of being world champion is affecting him but admits he does need to go back to basics.

“There is big pressure on me this year,” he said. “And in the last few months I have felt that even more to the point where I’m not really enjoying it.

“Confidence is a massive thing and I’m not and that’s what it comes down to.

“Even though I’m winning matches here and there, I’m not getting on a roll and that’s what I need to do.

“I can only go away, keep working hard and hopefully the breaks will start going my way.”

Hamilton killed off another south Essex man’s Welsh Open challenge as he beat Southend’s Allan Taylor 4-2 in the second round.