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Marco Fu

Marco Fu misses out on Masters final after Rocket Ronnie delivers ‘best ever’ performance

Hong Kong snooker star has been at top of his game but O’Sullivan showed why many believe he is greatest of all time

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 22 January, 2017, 10:50am
UPDATED : Sunday, 22 January, 2017, 9:10pm

Hong Kong snooker star Marco Fu Ka-chun missed out on a place in the Masters final after Ronnie O’Sullivan delivered a ‘best ever’ performance to beat him.

O’Sullivan, considered by many to be the greatest player of all time, beat Fu 6-4 in the 16-man invitational event and will play Joe Perry in the final.

Fu, who won the Scottish Open last time out, has been playing the best snooker of his career and forced a terrific performance from the defending champion.

“He played really well,” said Fu, who beat his own tournament high break of 140 by one.

“I only played one bad shot in the whole match. Every credit to the greatest player in the game today.

“You just have to admire it and wish him all the best in the final. Hopefully he can break the record [and win a seventh Masters title], it was a great match to be involved in.”

O’Sullivan damaged his cue tip with Fu leading by two frames to one. A new tip often takes players a while to get used to, but O’Sullivan seemed unconcerned as the pair battled back and forth to 4-4 before the Englishman took the final two frames.

“I think [referee] Paul Collier put a great tip on, unfortunately,” joked Fu. “That’s the way it goes! Sometimes it just clicks. Every tip is a little bit different. He got used to it straight away, so fair play to him.”

“It’s probably my best win ever considering everything that went on and the way I played, given the stature of the tournament, the atmosphere,” said O’Sullivan. “There was a lot of pressure out there and to be able to hold myself together and win was so good. It’s one of the best wins of my life.

“It can take you a while, five or six days, to get used to a new tip. But I knew I had nothing to lose. I couldn’t win with the old one. It was totally gone. It was unplayable, I had to take it off. It wasn’t a gamble, I had to do it.

“Marco’s had a great run since the UK [Championship]. He’s had two fantastic wins here. He was so close to winning that match, he didn’t lose out there today. I think he’s going to win more tournaments because he’s such a good player. He looks so much more aggressive and confident.”

In the other semi-final, Perry mounted a comeback from 5-2 down to beat Barry Hawkins 6-5.