Stuart Bingham says next season can't come soon enough after his hopes of a second World Snooker Championship title were dashed by Mark Williams, writes Will Jennings.
The Basildon potter battled admirably under the Crucible lights but succumbed to a disappointing 13-11 defeat, as a bold final frame break of 75 from the three-time world champion sealed Bingham’s fate.
World No.14 Bingham won the Masters this season - one of snooker’s Triple Crown events - but after making just one quarter-final in a ranking event can’t wait to draw a line under the campaign and hit the ground running again.
“I’m gutted - neither of us all really got going in the match and four frames could have gone either way,” the 44-year-old said.
“It’s disappointing - I came here with a bit of form but it just didn’t happen and I’m just gutted that I’m out.
“I think any time you win a tournament these days it’s a good season, but in a ranking sense I’ve got to one quarter-final throughout the whole season.
"I’m disappointed in that sense - I’ve obviously got to have a good season next season to try and keep my top 16 place, but we’re just lucky to be here.
“It was nice to be back here, but obviously gutted there was no crowd - I’m looking forward to next season already.”
Bingham held Williams overnight as the pair reemerged for the second session on Friday at eight frames apiece, before fine efforts of 90, 74, 67 and then that gutsy 75 sealed the final nail in the 2015 world champion’s coffin.
Bingham constructed visits of 115, 76 and 70 in the match but it proved insufficient as his miserable run at the Crucible since 2015 continued.
‘Ball Run’ Bingham’s record now stands at two first round losses and three last 16 defeats since his memorable crowning glory, having struggled to refind that form that saw him crowned king of the Crucible.
It was a scrappy contest that proved his demise this year and the six-time ranking event winner lamented missed opportunities.
“I think we both nicked some and lost some, and we just didn’t really get going,” he added.
“At 11-11 I took a mad red on but I was just trying to get going and I felt that was my chance to try and get in front.
“I missed it and he cleared up - he gave me a chance of a long red at the start of the frame and I missed it and then he made a good 75.”
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