Fu focuses on world championship to end season with a bang

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 16 April, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 16 April, 2009, 12:00am

Marco Fu Ka-chun is putting a disappointing China Open behind him as he focuses on the season-ending world championship, which begins in Sheffield, England, this weekend.

With a provisional seventh place in the world rankings, Fu is winding up his best season in his 11 years as a professional and has set his goal for the season as finishing among the top eight in the world rankings. And the 31-year-old needs to do no more than reach the second round at the Crucible Theatre to meet his target.

'It was sad to lose in the opening round in Beijing, where I struggled to recover from a slow start, but I will be much better prepared for the world championship,' Fu said.

'I was involved in some promotional activities before the China Open which affected my performance, but I am now very focused. The world championship is the last tournament of the season and offers the most ranking points.'

Fu has been spending this week with his coach Terry Griffiths in England fine-tuning his skills and strengthening his mental preparations before taking on Joe Swail of Northern Ireland in the opening round. 'I beat him in one of the two encounters we have had so far but it is a long time since then,' he said. 'I am confident I can do well as the world championship suits me better because the matches are longer, even in the first round.'

The first round of the China Open is contested over the best-of-nine frames, whereas the world championship opening round is over the best-of-19 frames.

Chinese star Ding Junhui has a tough battle to finish the season in the world's top 16, which would guarantee him a place in the main draw of tournaments next season.

Ding, 15th in the provisional rankings, will take on compatriot Liang Wenbo for the first time.

Ding has never been past the second round at the Crucible, while Liang had a memorable run to the quarter-finals on his debut last year.