Stuart Bingham boosted his hopes of capturing his first title since becoming World Champion by winning a tough battle against Fergal O’Brien at the 918.com German Masters by a 5-2 scoreline.
Bingham has shown consistent form in recent weeks, reaching the semi-finals of the both the Gibraltar Open and the Masters. The Basilson cueman hasn’t won a tournament since lifting the world trophy last May, but will be quietly confident of his chances in Berlin this week having set up a last 16 match with Ryan Day. Bingham is the only player left in the bottom half of the draw who is ranked among the world’s top 16.
Bingham started strongly with a break of 109 and took the second frame as well, before Irishman O’Brien hit back with 82 and 113 to level at 2-2. The next two frames were scrappy affairs, lasting over an hour in total, but Bingham ground out both of them to go 4-2 ahead. And when O’Brien made a safety error with three reds left in frame seven, Bingham seized his chances with a match-winning 48 clearance.
“I started like a train, but then missed a couple of easy balls and let Fergal back into the match,” said world number two Bingham. “I got a bit annoyed with myself, I found it hard to concentrate. It wasn’t my best performance but I’m happy to get through. I don’t know how I won the last two frames because I didn’t fancy potting a ball.
“I’ve had a couple of semi-finals recently so I feel like I’m playing ok. I don’t look at the draw beyond my next match – Ryan Day will be tough so if I don’t win that it doesn’t matter who else is in my half. I’ve never been past the last 16 of this event so it would be great to go further.”
Welshman Day scored a 5-3 victory over UK Championship finalist Liang Wenbo. Day trailed 2-1 but won four of the last five frames with top runs of 78 and 74.
Shanghai Masters champion Kyren Wilson produced a superb fight back from 4-1 down to beat Rory McLeod 5-4. Kettering’s 24-year-old Wilson took the last four frames with a top break of 61.
He now meets Michael Holt, who edged out Ian Burns 5-4, making vital breaks of 44 and 34 in the decider.
Mark King came from 3-0 down to beat Stuart Carrington 5-4 with top runs of 51, 76 and 103.