Stuart Bingham doubted World Championship chance before 2015

April 17, 2022
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Stuart Bingham made history as the oldest first-time world snooker champion in more than seven decades at the 2015 World Championship - and has now admitted that he thought his chances of winning it had slipped through his fingers.

Having won the English Amateur and the World Amateur Championships back in 1996 at the age of 20, Bingham found the best form of his professional career in his mid-thirties - a period in which he entered the top 16 in the rankings for the first time.

That form culminated in him reaching the 2015 World Championship final with victories over Ronnie O'Sullivan and Judd Trump along the way before seeing off the threat of 2005 winner Shaun Murphy.

Bingham told Daily Star Sport: "Everyone turns pro believing that they can become the World Champion and World No.1... but the more the years go past the more you're thinking that you're not even going to get a chance."

The Basildon-born breaker qualified for the worlds in both 2000 and 2002 before a five-year hiatus. His victory coming two years after his first quarter-final appearance.

He adds: "I remember seeing a couple of friends getting to the final and to the semis and people that I didn't necessarily think were better than me and I thought that if I get a chance I'd take it."

22 Apr 2002: Ken Doherty (left) of Ireland looks on pensively as Stuart Bingham of England enjoys their first round match at the Crucible Theatre, Sheffield.
Stuart Bingham found form in his mid-thirties having turned professional in 1995

Having doubted his own chances before beating 50/1 odds to secure World Championship glory in 2015, Bingham now had a new-found confidence having forced his way back into the semi-finals last time out.

Having beaten Ding Junhui, Jamie Jones and Anthony McGill, Bingham was involved in a gruelling contest with eventual champion Selby and came out on the wrong end of a 17-15 semi-final scoreline.

In reaching the last four for the first time since winning the competition, the 45-year-old knows that an extended run at the Crucible is in his own hands.

SHEFFIELD, ENGLAND - APRIL 29: England's Stuart Bingham plays a shot during day 13 of the Betfred World Snooker Championships 2021 at Crucible Theatre on April 29, 2021 in Sheffield, England.
Stuart Bingham has 528 century breaks and nine maximum breaks to his name

He continued: "Where before I'd go and feel like it's never really going to happen, now I've done it, I feel like I can really do it again. I know if my game clicks I feel like I can win it."

Bingham, who has racked up maximum nine breaks throughout his extended career, has been drawn to play qualifier Lyu Haotian across Monday evening and Tuesday afternoon.

The 2022 World Snooker Championship will be broadcast across BBC Sport.

This post appeared first on Daily Star - Snooker.

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