STUART Bingham crashed out of the Scottish Open at the very first hurdle but the Basildon potter believes a ranking event victory is not far away from his grasp.

The world number 13 surrendered a 2-0 lead against a resurgent Matthew Stevens at Glasgow’s Emirates Arena, missing a string of opportunities and going down to a disappointing 4-2 defeat.

That result capped off a mixed first half of the season for the six-time ranking event champion, who failed to make the quarter-finals of the UK Championship and departed the English Open in Crawley in the second round.

But the 2015 world champion refused to have his optimism swayed after the defeat and, instead, was insistent that he is not far from 2020 glory.

“I don’t think I’ve ever won in Glasgow, so that just continues,” the 43-year-old reflected.

“I’ve been playing well this season and even feeling good - it would have been nice to win a match here and go far in this.

“I feel like I am playing well enough to win a tournament – I’ve just got to iron out a few little creases here and there.

“But I am knocking on the door, although this is a setback.

“I don’t feel a million miles away from winning a ranking event at all – I just need to improve my concentration, iron out certain creases, and what happened in Glasgow is just one of those things.”

Next for Bingham is a trip to the Alexandra Palace for an appearance at the prestigious Masters, facing Mark Williams in the capital for his opening fixture.

But the former king of the world was willing to turn his attention further down the line, reflecting on what may come next when life with a cue in hand finally comes to an end.

“The aim’s still definitely just to keep on building – I’m not getting any younger and every year I’m trying to win a tournament,” he added.

“When I would retire it would be nice to get a club – you also never know when the commentary opportunity might open up or other doors as well.

“There’s Eurosport, ITV and BBC options there, but I’m hoping I’ve got a good four or five years left in the top 16.

“After that, I’ll probably start looking at other avenues.”

>Watch the Scottish Open live on Eurosport, Eurosport Player and Quest with studio analysis from Ronnie O’Sullivan and Jimmy White.