Stuart BIngham
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Stuart Bingham: ‘It was very echoey’

The 2015 world champion is through to the last 16 after a miniature wobble on Saturday in Sheffield.

Stuart Bingham advanced to the second round of the 2020 World Snooker Championship after a 10-7 victory over Ashley Carty at the Crucible Theatre.

The Englishman looked to be coasting towards the winning line when he raced clear from his overnight 5-4 advantage.

Bingham scored heavily with breaks of 109, 96, 57, and 58 helping him extend his cushion to 9-4 at the interval.

But debutant Carty launched a gallant fight back, scoring an 83 break to stop the rot before capitalising on a terrible missed green from his esteemed opponent in the next frame to reduce the arrears to 9-6.

When the 25 year-old pulled another frame back, Bingham would have had memories of 2019 when Graeme Dott retrieved a similar 9-4 deficit to force a decider.

But the reigning Masters champion finally settled himself down and compiled a timely run of 82 to book his spot in the next round.

While the pair began their fixture in front of a sparse socially-distanced crowd on Friday, the government pilot scheme allowing supporters back into sporting venues has since been scrapped, so their second session was contested behind closed doors.

“At 9-4, the interval came at the wrong time as I felt really good,” Bingham said in his post-match interview.

“I took my foot off the gas a little bit and the memories started coming back of the Graeme Dott match last year from being 9-4 to 9-9.”

“I threw my arm at a few things and he started to get going, so I was happy to make a nice break at the end – I was a bit nervous trying to get over the line.”

On the lack of a crowd inside the Crucible arena, Bingham said: “Today (it was) very echoey but that might have suited me – how well I played it was like a practice session.”

“Sometimes, the crowd helps you and gives you more adrenaline with people cheering, and family and friends getting behind you.

“But when there’s nothing there it seems more of a practice session – you just play the shot in front of you and you’re not thinking about the crowd or other things that are popping into your head.”

Next up for Bingham will be the winner of the match between Mark Williams and Alan McManus, with the latter 5-4 in front of the three-time champion following their first session.

In Saturday morning’s other encounter, Kurt Maflin established a 5-4 lead over David Gilbert.

Live coverage continues on the BBC, Eurosport, and Matchroom Live.

Click here to view the draw

Featured photo credit: WST


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