Masters snooker: Stuart Bingham confident he can shock Judd Trump

MASTERS SNOOKER

Venue:
Alexandra Palace, London
Date:
Sunday 15 Jan to Sunday 22 Jan
Kick-off:
Matches start at 1230/1330 and 1900 (final at 1400 and 2000)
Coverage:
Live coverage and highlights on BBC Two, Red Button and BBC Sport website; updates and reports on BBC Radio 5 live and this website
Stuart Bingham
Bingham has won one ranking tournament in his career

Stuart Bingham believes he can shock UK champion Judd Trump in the opening round of next week's Masters.

Bingham, 35, admits he has the toughest draw possible as he faces in-form Trump on Monday at London's Alexandra Palace.

"I played him in the Shanghai Masters last year and beat him 5-1," said Basildon-based Bingham.

"Judd's a class act, full of confidence after his UK win in December so it's going to be tough, but if I can play like I know I can then I can beat him."

Bingham won the World Amateur Championship in 1996 but his breakthrough moment as a professional came last July when he won his first ranking tournament, beating two-time world champion Mark Williams in the final of the Australian Open.

That victory propelled Bingham into the top 16 in the world rankings to earn him a place in the Masters, although he has previously appeared in two Masters competitions after winning qualifying events.

"It's nice to be in the elite finally and it does make it more special knowing I'm there because I'm in the top 16," added Bingham, currently 14th in the world.

"You always wish that you're going to get there one day and it has taken me ages, but maybe now I'm a better player because of it.

"I've seen players fly past me in the rankings going up and then come back down past me, but I've learnt my craft and hopefully I can stay there for a few years.

"Even today I lose confidence in my ability and it's been a long, hard road. I remember losing 10 matches on the trot at the end of one season and the beginning of the next and I was nearly off the tour.

"The top 32 all know we can win a tournament but it's just doing it. You feel like you're knocking on a door but it's not opening. I had been banging my head against that door but nothing was happening.

"I had the belief that one day it would open and it opened in Australia, but this is where the hard work starts and I don't just want to win once, I want to win another tournament.

"With the new rankings, hopefully I can push up into the top eight. I've got the belief now so the world is my oyster."

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