STUART Bingham admits becoming a Triple Crown champion would put the cherry on top of a perfect snooker career.

The Basildon potter breezed past world number 57 Andrew Higginson in the second round of the UK Championship to keep his chances of a maiden tournament title alive.

World number 11 Bingham was crowned world champion in 2015 and won the prestigious Masters earlier this year, two of snooker’s major events alongside the current tournament in Milton Keynes.

The Essex player has crashed out three-times in the semi-finals but is hellbent on putting the icing on his Triple Crown cake.

Asked if winning the UK Championship was something he thinks about achieving, the 44-year-old said: “Yes, of course.

“It’s just nice to be in a situation where I’ve got a chance. If it’s meant to be, it’s meant to be – I’ve got beat three times in the semis.

“It’s tough to win any tournament, let alone a specific one, so if I can get my hands on that trophy if will top off a great career that I’ve had.

“Growing up you always see the UK Championship being played and all the top players winning it, so it’s obviously one of the tournaments that’s very hard to win.

“I played okay – not great but I got the job done and that’s all that matters, really. I scored pretty good.

“I felt like, other than one or two matches here or there, overall throughout the whole season I feel like I’ve been playing pretty good. Hopefully I can have a deep run.”

Bingham beat fellow Basildon player Zak Surety in the first round before breaks of 79, 74, 64 and 55 catapulted him into the last 32 at the Marshall Arena.

The UK Championship is traditionally held at the historic York Barbican, but has this year been moved almost 150 miles south as snooker continues to adapt to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Bingham admits the behind closed doors setup is a source of regret but hailed World Snooker Tour for ensuring competitive action takes place.

“I love York – it’s a great city and it’s a nice time of the year with a Christmas market. It’s sorely missed this year but we’re lucky to be playing,” he added.

“A few people are moaning it’s the same old and there’s nothing to do round here, but there’s nothing to do anywhere with the current situation.

“We’re lucky to be playing and the conditions are fantastic.”

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