STUART Bingham is into the World Snooker Championship quarter-finals for the first time since lifting the title after breezing past Jamie Jones in Sheffield.

Bingham became world champion in 2015 but had not reached the last eight in the subsequent six years, with two first-round and three second-round exits making up an underwhelming copybook.

But progressing through qualifying just to reach the Crucible Theatre seems to be paying off for the Basildon based potter, winning the three frames he needed to overcome Wales’ Jones 13-6.

A clash with Anthony McGill – who knocked out Ronnie O’Sullivan – now awaits for Bingham, who made 12 breaks of greater than 50 in the match.

“It was nice to finish the match off the way I did, getting those three frames out of the way,” he said.

“I felt a bit nervous in the first couple of shots, nearly missed a red to the middle, luckily for me Jamie missed and I went and made a century break from it.

“Scoring is my game, if I can do that then I’ve got every chance.

“Break-builders always have a fighting chance, my safety is pretty good so hopefully I can have a good game against Anthony McGill.

“You don’t get any easy games here, so if you’re a little bit off your game then you get beat. It’s a tough game now.

“Qualifying has given me a bit of confidence coming in, I knew I was sharp and it showed straight away.

“It’s not good to go to qualifying but it’s put me in a good frame of mind.”

Shaun Murphy in 2005 was the last qualifier to go on and win the title but Bingham will be up there as one of the favourites to lift the trophy in Sheffield.

But he will have to get past McGill first – the man who dumped six-time winner and defending champion O’Sullivan out of the competition.

The Scot also made it to the semi-finals in 2020 before losing out in a heart-breaking final-frame decider against Kyren Wilson.

So Bingham knows he will not have it easy against the 16th seed when the last-eight match gets under way on Tuesday.

“Anthony is playing well, I caught the last couple of frames of his match with Ronnie and the way he finished that game shows what a class act he is,” he added.

“Especially after what happened last year, it shows he’s mentally strong. I’m expecting a tough game and know I’ll have to be on my game to win.

“You can’t look past each match, that’s my focus for the next two days.

“Anthony is very composed and plays his own game – when you’re in a position where you’re happy to do that, you become very hard to beat.

“You can’t get under their skin, you can’t rattle them.

“It would be nice to experience the one-table setup and get back to those good memories.

“But if you don’t play well, you don’t get through. It’s as simple as that. You’ve got to play well in near enough every frame.”

>Watch the World Snooker Championship live on Eurosport and Eurosport app from April 17- May 3