Fatherhood makes a new man of Marco Fu
Doting father Marco Fu Ka-chun said the birth of his daughter, Alicia Belle, seven months ago inspired him to victory at the Goldfields Open in Australia on Sunday, his first success in a ranking tournament since 2007.
"I work so much harder now because I am playing and training not just for myself but also for my wife and daughter," said Fu, who returned to Hong Kong last night. "In fact, since Alicia Belle was born I have finished runner-up in one tournament and now actually won my first ranking title in six years, so I owe a lot to her and also my wife, Shirley, for her tremendous support."
Alicia Belle watched the Goldfields final on a computer with her mother. "I'm not sure if she recognised her father on the screen but she seemed pretty excited," Shirley Fu said. "I, on the other hand, was a nervous wreck, especially because Marco hasn't won a big title for such a long time."
Fu beat world number one Neil Robertson of Australia in the Goldfields final, a result that will catapult him back into the world's top 16, which means he will not have to play in the qualifiers for the next major tournament, the Shanghai Masters in September.
"I have not done very well in China in recent years and my best finish in a mainland event was a place in the quarter-finals," said Fu.
"Shanghai is almost like home territory for me because of the support of the local fans and I hope I can reward them this time by playing to my true potential.
"Mentally, I am a stronger player than I have been for a while. I feel much more at peace with myself."
And for that, Alicia Belle no doubt deserves a lot of the credit.