Stuart Bingham says he targeting titles this season after missing out on silverware last term.
Bingham won the World Championship for the first time in 2015 and struggled to deal with the extra expectation last season. But with that weight off his shoulders, the 40-year-old from Basildon has fresh impetus for the new campaign.
And Bingham made a fine start to the season in Preston last week by winning his qualifying matches for the Indian Open, World Open and Kaspersky Riga Masters ranking events.
“Last season was disappointing even though I got to a final and three other semi-finals. I always want to win a tournament each season,” he said.
“I lost to Ali Carter in the first round of the World Championship, and the next time I played I felt as if I had the bit between my teeth again. Maybe I didn’t have that last season because I was turning up as World Champion and it didn’t matter. Once the season ended I had the determination to prove people wrong and to show it was no fluke. Hopefully this season I can win a couple of tournaments.”
Bingham is ranked second in the world and would have been one place higher if Ding Junhui had beaten Mark Selby in the world final; instead Selby triumphed at the Crucible and retained the number one position. And Bingham feels his hopes of topping the rankings have gone.
“I’ve probably missed the boat on that,” he added. “I’m around £100,000 behind Mark and I’ve got a lot of money coming off my total this season.”