Fu edges closer to date with Hendry
Marco Fu is just two victories away from a place in the final stages of the China International after beating John Lardner 5-3.
Fu, 21, needs to beat Gerard Greene and Quinten Hann to advance to a Shanghai meeting with Stephen Hendry in December.
Playing his best snooker of the season so far, Fu compiled breaks of 87, 129, 84 and 115 to coast into a 4-1 lead.
Fu, who qualified for the final stages of the Embassy World Championship last April, tightened up his safety game after allowing Lardner to get within one frame at 4-3.
At that point, the pressure was all on Fu and the Hong Kong cueman responded, making breaks of 40 and 56 to reach the third qualifying round.
Fu said: 'I played exceptionally well to go 4-1 up but I didn't relax because I wanted to finish the match off quickly.
'John played really well to come back to 4-3, his safety was spot on.
'I'm pleased, though, with how I played and will just have to do a bit of work on my tactical game.'