Marco Fu edges Ding Junhui in nine-frame thriller to set up Trump date in Players Championship finale
Hongkonger secures place in the final to make 2016-17 season the most lucrative of his career
Hong Kong’s Marco Fu Ka-chun overcame mainlander Ding Junhui 5-4 in the semi-final of the Players Championship on Saturday to confirm a date with world number three Judd Trump in the Llandudno final on Sunday.
After a fine start from Ding, who notched a break of 99 on his way to the first frame, Fu moved into a 2-1 lead with a century clearance of his own. Ding then clinched a thrilling fourth frame as the back-and-forth match turned into a tense affair.
The mainlander then moved to within a whisker of sealing the win after taking three frames on the bounce to put one foot in the final.
But determined Fu fired back with 61 and 98 in the final frame to seal an impressive win and make his second final of the season after his stunning win over John Higgins in the Scottish Open.
“Towards the end I feared the worst,” confided Fu after the match. “You don’t come back that often against a player of Ding’s quality. It’s always very pleasing to win matches like this from 5-3 down.
“I think on form Judd is the best player in the world at the moment so it is going to be a tough final,” the 39-year-old told worldsnooker.com. “I’m just happy to be in the final again and I’m looking forward to the challenge.”
A win for Fu on Sunday would represent his biggest single payday with £125,000 (HK$1.18 million) going to the champion in Wales. Reaching the final has already made the 2016-17 season the most lucrative campaign of his career.
Trump made the final courtesy of his 6-4 win over Ali Carter on Saturday with the Englishman racking up five 50+ breaks in the win.