Stuart Bingham believes that such is snooker’s current strength in depth that anyone in the world’s top 50 is capable of winning tournaments.
The last two ranking events have been won by players outside the top 16 – with Anthony McGill capturing the Indian Open and Ali Carter landing the World Open crown.
“Out of the top 50, anyone can beat anyone and win an event,” said Bingham, who won the World Championship last year. “I played McGill in India and although he hadn’t won a ranking event before, I knew his time was going to come because he was playing so well.
“Then I played Carter at the World Open and he punished every little mistake I made. It’s not like years ago when the titles were won by a small number of players, these days there are so many who are capable if they have a good week.”
World number two Bingham was full of praise for former practice partner Carter who won his first ranking title since two successful battles against cancer.
“He’s already won the biggest battle in his life,” said Bingham. “I suppose winning a tournament seems a lot easier to him now. It just shows you the determination he has.”
Bingham feels a weight has been taken off his own shoulders after struggling with the added expectation that came with being World Champion last season.
“Last year was a massive learning curve,” said the 40-year-old. “Being interviewed all of the time and featuring in all of the posters was just a totally different experience. I wasn’t on the poster at the World Open and little things like that mean I can just play my snooker and get on with it.”
Bingham is also looking forward to a packed schedule in the coming months with the new Home Nations series kicking off in October with the English Open in Manchester. However he believes it would be almost impossible for a player to claim the massive £1 million bonus on offer for winning the English, Irish, Scottish and Welsh Open events.
“It is great to go back to Scotland and Ireland and get another tournament in England. It’s another few tournaments to enter and to have a chance of winning,” said Bingham. “Obviously after the first tournament there will only be one person with a chance of the bonus. To come through 28 matches on the trot would be incredibly difficult.”
Tickets for all Home Nations events are now on sale – for details CLICK HERE
English Open – Event City, Manchester, October 10-16
Irish Open – Titanic Exhibition Centre, Belfast, November 14-20
Scottish Open – Emirates Arena, Glasgow, December 12-18
Welsh Open – Motorpoint Arena, Cardiff, February 13-19