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Marco Fu

Hong Kong’s Marco Fu cruises into quarter-finals of UK Championship after 6-0 thumping of Oliver Lines

World number 15 eases into the last eight in York with a storming 6-0 whitewash against up-and-coming English talent

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 01 December, 2016, 10:02am
UPDATED : Friday, 02 December, 2016, 12:14am

Hong Kong cueman Marco Fu Ka-chun eased into the last eight of the UK Championship at the Barbican in York on Wednesday night after storming to a 6-0 whitewash against world number 61 Oliver Lines.

Lines, one of the hottest prospects in the sport had been on an eye-catching run which included the prized scalp of Judd Trump and his own 6-0 whitewash against 32nd ranked Jimmy Robertson.

But an inspired Fu halted the 21-year-old’s progress with a combination of luck and assured break-building.

Fu, who has endured a disappointing season so far, is now on course to match his best result at the Barbican where he reached the final in 2008.

The Happy Valley native claimed the first frame when a flukey shot helped him to a frame-clinching clearance, and the rookie Lines had opportunities to grab a foothold in the second and third frames. But by the fourth frame Fu was well in stride and in each of the last three stanzas he cleared without Lines registering a single point.

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“There was a lot of expectation on Oliver tonight,” said Fu afterwards. ”He made some mistakes and I took advantage. I didn’t play my best, I still have a lot of work to do on the technical side. I have had a bad season but I hope this event can kick-start it.”

Leeds player Lines was disappointed with his showing.

“That’s not how I wanted to perform,” he said. “I should have won the first three frames but everything I did seemed to go wrong. I wanted to win the title but you can’t beat anyone playing like that. I had a lot of fans here tonight so I can only say sorry to them.”

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Fu will now face Wales’ Jamie Jones or England’s David Gilbert in Friday’s quarter-final.

Elsewhere, world number one Mark Selby booked his place in the quarters with a 6-1 win over China’s Zhang Anda. The Leicester man will now face John Higgins or Mark Allen in the next round.

Ronnie O’Sullivan again stoked controversy following his impressive 6-2 win over Wales’ Matthew Stevens.

The former world number one and four-time world champion claimed “the tail is wagging the dog” as he suggested the governing body should look into reducing the calendar.

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“There are a lot of players I watch out there and they can’t play,” he said. “That’s no disrespect, they just can’t play. They are never going to be good enough.

“With too many 128 [entrant] events, I always think that is quantity over quality. We have a lot of quantity, but very few quality events.”

O’Sullivan hit the headlines earlier this week when he claimed the sport was struggling for prestige and commented that Chinese investment should be welcomed.