Fu looking to make amends for first-round losses
Playing close to home doesn't make it any easier. But Marco Fu Ka-chun will be going all out to prove that he is capable of handling the pressure of playing in front of his supporters at the China Open in Shenzhen starting on Saturday.
World number 15 Fu pointed out that playing in the presence of the Chinese community would only put additional pressure on him but added he was looking forward to winning a tournament that is held just across the border.
'There is no home advantage in snooker. It will only add extra pressure but I would love to win this one as it is being held so close to Hong Kong,' said Fu, who will play his first-round match against Mark King on Sunday.
The 22-year-old will be joined by the rest of the world's top 16 players, led by top seed Mark Williams, second seed John Higgins, seven-time world champion Stephen Hendry and defending champion Ronnie O'Sullivan for the nine-day event, which has a total purse of US$450,000.
Fu said he had disappointed his fans in the singles event at the Bangkok Asian Games two years ago and the Millennium Cup here last year but hoped to make amends this time around.
'I didn't perform well when my friends and family came to see me play and the Hong Kong media came to cover the event. But I'm confident I can overcome the pressure this time.'
Fu should clear his first hurdle as he has a 2-1 record against King, although he lost 5-4 in their last encounter in the first round of the British Open last September.
The Happy Valley cueman also hopes he can turn around his season at the China Open as he has so far scored a first-round victory on the professional circuit only once - at last month's Liverpool Victoria Championship in which he lost to Mark Williams in the second round.
'I would like to finish the season in the top eight but I need to win one or two tournaments. I've been playing okay in practice but I still have a problem when playing a match. I'm not that confident going into a match,' he said.
Fu's most impressive achievement this season was piling a maximum 147 break in his first-round exit to former world champion Ken Doherty at the Regal Masters tournament in Scotland last month, but he insisted the feat was hard to repeat. He said: 'It definitely needs a little luck to pot 147.'