The great thing about sport is the opportunity it affords for redemption for past follies.
Take Rory McIlroy. He collapsed during the final round of the US Masters earlier this year but then won the next major, the US Open.
Stuart Pearce missed a penalty for England against West Germany in the 1990 World Cup semi-finals but scored one against Spain in the quarter-finals of Euro ’96 six years later.
Stuart Bingham today gained a small measure of revenge for his 13-12 defeat to Ding Junhui from 12-9 up in last season’s World Championship.
Leading 4-1, Bingham sat out a Ding century, the second the Chinese had made, but, when the chance came in the next, the Essex man took it in style, running out with 86 to record a win that would have given him more satisfaction than most.
Bingham is now a top 16 player. In the latest official list he is 15th but of course needs to remain there at the next seedings cut-off point to reap the benefits.
Another player heading in the right direction is Matt Selt, who followed up his first round victory over John Higgins with a swift 5-1 dismissal of another legend, Stephen Hendry.
Selt’s game must have been brought on by not only the practice opponents but the general atmosphere of The Grove in Romford, also the base for the likes of Judd Trump, Ronnie O’Sullivan and Jack Lisowski.
People often take inspiration from those in the world who have achieved against the odds but we are also more often than not inspired by those around us. Selt has seen the success his pals are having and thought, right, I’ll have some of that.
Mark Selby’s highest break was only 46 but his aptitude for the fight could not be faulted as he recovered from 3-0 down to beat Joe Perry 5-3.
Perry was brilliant early on but the whole match turned on a single shot, his botched safety when leading by 41 with 43 on in the fourth.
Selby cleared up to win it on the black, leaving Perry to rue the missed opportunity to lead 4-0 at the interval. You really don’t want 15 minutes to allow negative thoughts to creep in when something like happens.
But they did, Selby won another black ball frame and after that looked like the only player in the match. It was another fine triumph in adversity.
Mark Williams roundly rubbished his performance against Barry Pinches but it would be a big shock if he went out to Dave Gilbert.
Of interest tomorrow is Ken Doherty, who played well to beat Stephen Maguire, against Liang Wenbo, who was on for a maximum until the super-fast table caught him out from 15th black to yellow, where he snookered himself behind the green.
Of course, Doherty had a go last week in Thailand because Liang didn’t wear a bowtie in one frame. Ken said this wasn’t sour grapes. Obviously it was and such comments are understandable in defeat, but it adds a little extra spice for their last 16 encounter.