Europeans put on a classic show
Local hero Marco Fu Ka-chun defeated world champion John Higgins but was unable to match the 'Rocket' as Europe won the team title against Asia 5-3 in the Euro-Asia Masters Challenge at the Queen Elizabeth Stadium last night.
Fu got Asia off to a fine start when he defeated an error-prone Higgins in his first match, but the Europeans had the better of the Asians thanks to the heroics of Ronnie 'Rocket' O'Sullivan - two-time world champion - who produced the night's best display against Fu.
'We all enjoyed it. It was a good little curtain raiser for the rest of the tournament,' said the 31-year-old Englishman. 'It's always nice to come somewhere and make people happy when you play. It's great to see that people have enjoyed their evening.'
Fu had shone in his first match when he defeated Higgins - the reigning two-time world champion - 71-7, but Fu couldn't contain the marvellous break-building of O'Sullivan, who rattled in breaks of 29 and 21 to win the tie for Europe.
'We are not used to this playing format but everybody had to get used to it,' said Fu.
O'Sullivan had earlier given Europe a 3-1 lead with an impressive 99-9 victory over Thailand's Asian champion Supoj Saenla before Higgins lost his second match when he was defeated by Ding Junhui 39-56.
Thailand's James Wattana defeated Stephen Hendry 75-38 before Ken Docherty put Europe back in front by beating Saenla 65-31.
It has been a dreadful week for Higgins, who three days earlier lost his passport after a day out sightseeing.
But Higgins was happy to report that his passport problem has been sorted out.
'It has been a bad week so far and it needs to get better. The British Consulate said they will get it [passport] done within two or three days so that's fantastic news on my part,' he said.