http://www.thetricolour.com/

Stuart Bingham: Masters champion 'will always have haters' despite victory

Stuart Bingham: Masters champion 'will always have haters' despite victory

Media playback is not supported on this device

Stuart Bingham says he "will always have haters" after becoming the oldest winner of the Masters and claiming his second Triple Crown event title.

Bingham, 43, defeated Ali Carter 10-8 in a thrilling final at Alexandra Palace to add to his shock World Championship triumph five years ago.

He missed the 2018 Masters as he served a six-month ban for betting breaches.

Bingham, who had denied betting on his own matches, said people "still call me a cheat".

The Basildon player was sanctioned in October 2017 for breaking rules which state players are not allowed to bet on their own matches or those involving other professionals.

But despite a World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association WPBSA probe acknowledging there was no suggestion that Bingham aimed to "influence matches or engage in any corrupt activity", some critics on social media have still not forgiven him for the incident.

The detractors also suggest he got lucky by winning the 2015 World title in Sheffield, while this latest victory came in a tournament which seven-time champion Ronnie O'Sullivan decided not to enter.

"The people in the game know my World Championship win was not a fluke," he told BBC Sport. "You will always have haters, even with winning this.

"People will say I got lucky or I won because Ronnie was not playing. No matter how much you explain to them, or talk to them about what did not happen with the betting, they don't believe you - they will still call me a cheat.

Asked if the criticism hurt, Bingham tapped the Paul Hunter Trophy beside him and said: "It did, but with this little beauty now, it does not hurt any more. You can say what you want, I am more strong-minded and I will get on with my life."

Before this month's tournament, Bingham's record at the Masters was dreadful, with eight first-round defeats from nine previous appearances.

But he has now won two of snooker's biggest prizes - along with a record 250,000 winners' prize money - and will aim to complete the Triple Crown series by winning the UK Championship.

Should he manage to do so, he will join an elite list of only 11 players to have achieved the feat, including seven who are still competing.

Bingham had led 5-3 after the first session of the final, but fell 7-5 behind to Carter before launching a devastating comeback of his own, winning the match in style with his only century break of the whole tournament.

"I have been close to getting to the UK final three times and it would be great to win it," he said. "If I play like I did then anything is possible. If it does not happen, then I have still had a good career.

"Every tournament I am winning, I am putting myself into the history of the sport and to claim that would be fantastic. Growing up as a kid, watching the likes of Steve Davis and Stephen Hendry, to have a chance to be amongst that would be unbelievable.

"The money is great, it helps you live and that comes and goes, but my name is etched on the trophy forever. That means the world to me."

Bingham has a keen interest in tattoos and has an animal inked on his back every time he wins a trophy.

Currently, he has three lions to signify his wins in England at the World Championship, English Open and Premier League, a koala for the Australia Open, a barbary ape for the Gibraltar Open and a double-headed dragon for claiming the Shanghai Masters and Welsh Open.

When asked what he will get done next, Bingham was open to suggestions.

He added: "I would like to keep the animal theme going, what can we come up with? My tattooist was with me and I will see what he says. I want to get my sleeve done, maybe it will just be a symbol of the trophy?"

Media playback is not supported on this device

Also in Snooker

Welsh Open: Shaun Murphy wins Welsh Open with 9-1 win over Kyren Wilson

Welsh Open: Shaun Murphy wins Welsh Open with 9-1 win over Kyren Wilson

Welsh Open: Shaun Murphy wins Welsh Open with 9-1 win over Kyren Wilson

Shaun Murphy won his first Welsh Open by beating Kyren Wilson 9-1 at the Motorpoint Arena, Cardiff.Murphy took a 4-0 lead in the first session and extended his advantage to

Welsh Open: Kyren Wilson and Shaun Murphy to meet in final

Welsh Open: Kyren Wilson and Shaun Murphy to meet in final

Welsh Open: Kyren Wilson and Shaun Murphy to meet in final

Kyren Wilson beat Ronnie O'Sullivan 6-5 to book his place in Sunday's Welsh Open final in Cardiff.O'Sullivan had hoped to win a fifth Welsh Open title in Cardiff, his last

Welsh Open: Kyren Wilson beats Ronnie O'Sullivan 6-5 in first semi-final

Welsh Open: Kyren Wilson beats Ronnie O'Sullivan 6-5 in first semi-final

Welsh Open: Kyren Wilson beats Ronnie O'Sullivan 6-5 in first semi-final

Kyren Wilson beat Ronnie O'Sullivan 6-5 to book his place in Sunday's Welsh Open final in Cardiff.O'Sullivan had hoped to win a fifth Welsh Open title in Cardiff, his last

Welsh Open: Ronnie O'Sullivan eases into semi-finals

Welsh Open: Ronnie O'Sullivan eases into semi-finals

Welsh Open: Ronnie O'Sullivan eases into semi-finals

Ronnie O'Sullivan has booked his place in the semi-finals of the Welsh Open.O'Sullivan eased past world number four Mark Selby with a 5-1 win to book a last-four tie against

O'Sullivan eases into quarter-finals at Welsh Open

O'Sullivan eases into quarter-finals at Welsh Open

O'Sullivan eases into quarter-finals at Welsh Open

Four-time champion Ronnie O'Sullivan is through to the quarter-finals of the Welsh Open in Cardiff.O'Sullivan took just under an hour to beat Iran's Soheil Vahedi 4-0 in what was his

Welsh Open: Ronnie O'Sullivan eases into quarter finals

Welsh Open: Ronnie O'Sullivan eases into quarter finals

Welsh Open: Ronnie O'Sullivan eases into quarter finals

Four-time champion Ronnie O'Sullivan is through to the quarter-finals of the Welsh Open in Cardiff.O'Sullivan took just under an hour to beat Iran's Soheil Vahedi 4-0 in what was his

Williams out of Welsh Open as O'Sullivan goes through

Williams out of Welsh Open as O'Sullivan goes through

Williams out of Welsh Open as O'Sullivan goes through

Wales' Mark Williams is out of the Welsh Open following a 4-1 defeat by Scotland's Anthony McGill in the third round at Cardiff's Motorpoint Arena.Williams' defeat means Dominic Dale, who

Welsh Open: Neil Robertson into third round with Mark Joyce win

Welsh Open: Neil Robertson into third round with Mark Joyce win

Welsh Open: Neil Robertson into third round with Mark Joyce win

Reigning Welsh Open champions Neil Robertson is through to the third round after beating Mark Joyce 4-2.Joyce missed a crucial black ball in the fifth frame with the score tied
Reply
Your Comment

loginsignup