STUART BINGHAM produced when it mattered to record one of his finest wins of his career as he beat Ronnie O’Sullivan to reach the World Championship semi-finals.
Bingham will play in the Crucible’s one table set-up for the first time after a brilliant display saw him beat the five-times world champion 13-9 and leave the bottom half of the draw wide open.
He will face Judd Trump for a place in the World Championship final in what will be the 38-year-old’s biggest match of his career.
Winner of two ranking titles, Bingham’s victory tonight will go down as one of his finest given the fact it is on snooker’s biggest stage and against a man of O’Sullivan’s class – possibly the finest to ever play the game.
Yes, O’Sullivan was not at the races tonight but Bingham deserved the win taking the chances he had with great aplomb. Victory was sweet for revenge for Bingham who lost 6-0 to O’Sullivan in the World Grand Prix semi-finals and in the UK Championship semi-finals despite having a 4-1 lead.
With the pair tied at 8-8 at the start of the evening session, it was O’Sullivan who took the opening frame to go back into the lead in a match he had failed to bring his top form to the table.
But Bingham dominated the remainder of the contest as breaks of 74, 88, 51, 85 and 66 in less than an hour earned him a memorable victory which reduced him to tears when returning to the dressing room just moments afterwards.
“It’s just unbelievable,” Bingham told World Snooker’s official website.
“I’m so looking forward to tomorrow now. I had to go into my dressing room just now to give myself five minutes. I had a little tear, rang the wife and couldn’t really speak. It’s a brilliant win for me.
“I didn’t play great in the first two sessions, but when it counted I produced my best. I made a good clearance to make it 8-8 this afternoon, so I come out firing on all cylinders tonight. I knew if I could keep with him then I could give him a game.
“I hope the occasion (the semi-final) don’t get on top of me. Hopefully I actually get some sleep tonight then come out tomorrow and just enjoy it.”