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Bingham Set For Welsh Defence

Stuart Bingham heads to the Welsh Open in Cardiff next week determined to get back to his best.

Bingham beat Judd Trump 9-8 in a thrilling final at the Cardiff Motorpoint Arena last season to win the fourth ranking title of his career.

This time he’s among a field packed with top stars including Ronnie O’Sullivan, Mark Selby, Judd Trump, John Higgins, Shaun Murphy and Mark Williams in the tournament which runs from February 26 to March 4.

Bingham has just come back from a three-month suspension for breaching betting rules and is eager to make up for lost time.

“It was a hard time to go through and there was a lot on my mind,” said the Basildon cueman, World Champion in 2015. “It is what it is, I’ve done my time now and hopefully I can begin to move on. Snooker is what I do, so being out of it has been strange. I’ve enjoyed seeing my kids every day though. Being a professional snooker player you spend a lot of time away from home, so it was great to be with my family so much.

“I watched a little bit of the Masters on TV, but generally whenever I have been tempted to watch snooker, my wife has just said to switch it off and I think that was probably for the best.

“It’s a really important part of the season for me now. I need to hit the ground running and get some good results.

“Winning the Welsh Open last year meant a lot to me because it was my first title since winning the World Championship and a few people had said that was a one-off. It will be nice to go to Cardiff as defending champion and it would be fantastic if I could get the trophy back straight away. After I won at the Crucible I went out in the first round the next year, and the same after I won the Australian Open. So hopefully I can go a bit further in Cardiff.

“It is hard to put my finger on where my game is at, in relation to when I won the World title but I can definitely get playing to that level again.”

Tickets for the tournament are still available and start at just £10, fantastic value to see the world’s top stars. And with all 129 players in action over the first two days (Monday February 26 and Tuesday February 27), fans can see a multitude of matches in a single session. For details call 029 2022 44 88 or CLICK HERE