Bingham is seeking his fourth career ranking title
Stuart Bingham came from 4-2 down to beat Martin Gould 5-4 and keep his title defence going at the Bank of Communications OTO Shanghai Masters.
In tomorrow’s semi-finals, Bingham will face Judd Trump, who enjoyed a 5-1 win over Mark Williams.
Bingham beat Mark Allen in the final in Shanghai last year and went on to become World Champion for the first time in May. The 39-year-old from Basildon suffered a series of early exits in the first few tournaments this season, failing to make it to the last 16. But the world number two is now building form and confidence and is just two wins away from the £85,000 top prize.
Gould, who was runner-up at the Australian Goldfields Open, took the first two frames with a top break of 59 before Bingham pulled one back with runs of 42 and 52. A scrappy fourth went Gould’s way, and although Bingham took the next with an 88, he soon found himself 4-2 down as Gould dominated frame six.
Londoner Gould had chances for victory in the next two frames but couldn’t take advantage, notably missing the yellow off the last red when he could have cleared in the eighth. Bingham made it 4-4 then dominated the decider with breaks of 43 and 60.
“I’m over the moon to get through that because Martin outplayed me,” said Bingham. “I said that to him afterwards and he said that if you don’t finish the job then you don’t deserve it. I just hung in there and got the result. I’ll have to improve tomorrow to stand a chance to beat Judd. I’m not playing 100 per cent but I’ve got the grit and determination to get through matches.”
Trump is also through to his first semi-final of the season. After scraping through 5-4 on the final black against Matthew Selt last night, the 26-year-old had a far easier match today against two-time World Champion Williams.
After taking the first two frames on the colours, world number seven Trump made an excellent 79 clearance to go 3-0 ahead. Williams pulled one back with a break of 104, but a scrappy fifth frame went Trump’s way and the Bristolian sealed victory in the next with a run of 51.
“We both struggled today,” said Trump, who won the Australian Goldfields Open and World Grand Prix last season. “The table wasn’t very reactive so hopefully when we go down to one table tomorrow the standard will be better. I pinched a lot of frames – it could have been 5-1 the other way. I had a bit of luck in the first couple of frames. I didn’t get much sleep after a late finish last night so maybe that’s why I didn’t play well today. It’s always exciting to get down to one table and hopefully I can kick on.”