Stuart Bingham reveals key to Ronnie O’Sullivan win and Jak Jones challenge

Stuart Bingham was having a ball in his win over the Rocket (Picture: Getty Images)

Stuart Bingham went into his World Championship quarter-final against Ronnie O’Sullivan with no expectations and enjoyed every second of it, feeling that the carefree attitude was key to his brilliant victory.

Ballrun beat the Rocket 13-10 at the Crucible in a fascinating match which saw plenty of mistakes from both but also more than enough excellence to make it an absorbing watch.

The pair proved extremely difficult to separate, finishing at 4-4 and 8-8 after the first two sessions and then reaching 10-10 on Wednesday evening.

Things began to look a little sticky for Bingham at 8-6 down after O’Sullivan made back-to-back breaks of 79 and 84, but that was the point at which enjoying the challenge really benefitted him as he responded with a 125 and a 92 of his own.

‘I think when he went 8-6, I don’t know where those two frames came from,’ said the 2015 world champion. ‘I think the key was I was enjoying it. I was looking at the table, going toe-to-toe with the best player ever. I can’t believe I’ve come out on top!

‘Something clicked in my game. Once I got amongst the balls I felt really good. I went for my shots, still went for my shots even when maybe I didn’t fancy them, but I was potting them. Big result.’

Those final two frames of the afternoon session came after the other table had finished and the dividing screen was lifted, which added to the spectacle.

Stuart Bingham came though qualifying to make the Crucible (Picture: Getty Images)

‘The screen went up. I most probably had two per cent of the crowd on my side and the barrier come up and it went down to 0.5 per cent,’ said Bingham.

‘When you look around, there’s no better place. A calmness came over me. I made 100 and I made a 90. I thought, that’s it, game on!’

This is the second time Bingham has beaten O’Sullivan in a Crucible quarter-final, the last on his way to the title in 2015, but asked if that took some pressure off, he wasn’t quite so sure.

‘I think the 19 other defeats I’ve had off him, something like that, obviously mean things,’ he said. ‘But I was out there enjoying it, didn’t care if I won or lost. I was enjoying every second of it.

‘I had no expectations. It was nice to win a couple of games, get back in the top 32, I had no expectations of beating Ronnie.

‘I didn’t really feel like my game was there, I felt like I was giving too many chances away, but when it came to it my game was there. Hopefully it stands up for the next three days and then another two days.’

Into the semis he goes and waiting for him there is Jak Jones, the Welshman on his first trip to the one-table set-up at the Crucible.

2024 Cazoo World Snooker Championship - Day 11

Jak Jones impressively handled world number two Judd Trump (Picture: Getty Images)

Jones downed Judd Trump in a huge shock earlier on Wednesday with the Ace saying he struggled with the pace of the game.

On the challenge that lies ahead, Bingham said: ‘Every game’s different. It most probably helped me playing Ronnie because you know what you’re going to get.

‘If you don’t play well you’re going to get beat. I played well and I won. I’m sure it’ll be the same with Jak.

‘He seems very deadpan, you can’t get under his skin. I’ve played him before and he’s absolutely whooped my arse [4-0 at the 2022 Gibraltar Open], so I’m sure it’ll be a tough game.

‘He’s never experienced the one-table set-up, so he’s got things like that to settle into. You’ve just got to take each session as it goes and see what happens.’


MORE :
John Higgins speaks out on his snooker future after World Championship exit


MORE : Beaten Ronnie O’Sullivan says he didn’t want to play World Snooker Championship anyway

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