Marco Fu

Fu blown away by 'Thaiphoon'

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 15 July, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 15 July, 2007, 12:00am

Marco Fu Ka-chun's run at the Euro-Asia Masters Challenge came to an end when he lost to Thailand's James Wattana in yesterday's semi-final at Queen Elizabeth Stadium.

Fu had entered the last four in a confident mood after winning all three round-robin matches, including a morale-boosting 2-0 victory over former world champion Ronnie 'Rocket' O'Sullivan earlier in the day.

But the Hong Kong number one simply had no answer to the 'Thaiphoon' as the veteran Thai potted superbly on his way to a convincing 86-38, 54-17 win before a passionate crowd of 3,000.

'I just couldn't get into a rhythm and James played some good safety shots and the balls were running a bit off. It was tough for me,' said Fu, who defeated another former world champion, Ken Doherty, 2-1 on Friday.

'It was tough to get a rhythm going. But he took his chances very well.'

Fu, 29, drew some positives from the loss.

'It's a good start to the season. I have always struggled in Hong Kong but I am playing better now,' said Fu.

'I'm in Shanghai in three weeks so everything is looking OK. There was some pressure on me playing before a home crowd. I wasn't feeling comfortable. I have played Wattana maybe three or four times before but I have never beaten him.'

The 37-year-old Thai will be looking for his third triumph in Hong Kong, having won in 2003 and in another ranking tournament in the early 1990s.

Wattana will meet Scotland's John Higgins in today's final.

The 32-year-old reigning champion disposed of 1997 world champion Ken Doherty 2-0 (65-24, 67-10) in the other semi-final and will be favourite.

Higgins has been in imperious form since Friday, winning all three of his round-robin matches, including a morale-boosting 2-0 win over Wattana. Higgins and Wattana had already qualified for the semi-finals having won two matches apiece.

The Scotsman was looking forward to the final, saying the crowd had been 'unbelievable'.