Hong Kong’s Marco Fu completes incredible Crucible fightback to squeeze into round two at the world championship
Hongkonger fights back from 7-2 down after opening session to book his place in the second round where he could meet a former world champion
Hong Kong’s Marco Fu Ka-chun completed an incredible comeback at the world championship in Sheffield, England on Tuesday night snatching victory from the jaws of what would have been a humiliating first round defeat by Belgium’s Luca Brecel.
Fu trailed 7-2 in the first-to-ten opening match after the opening session on Monday and was facing a hugely disappointing denouement to what has been something of a schizophrenic season from the Hongkonger.
But in Tuesday’s final session, the Happy Valley-native completed a stunning fightback to take the match 10-9 and progress to round two, where he will face either Australian Neil Robertson or Thailand’s Noppon Saengkham.
“It was a rollercoaster 24 hours, I was very down,” Fu told worldsnooker.com. “I was even thinking of retiring at the way I was playing! I’ve had a great season, but yesterday’s performance was just not acceptable and after playing so well over the last year it was even tougher to handle.
“The way Luca was playing, I’ve watched some of his matches. He beat Shaun Murphy 4-0 and Shaun maybe only scored 10 points in the whole match. That was the type of standard he produced yesterday and it can be very hard to contain. But that is the beauty of long matches and it always gives you a chance to come back. The match turned around dramatically in 24 hours and its hard to understand why but that is the way it works.”
Fu’s fightback began steadily with him claiming the 10th and 11th frames with breaks of 75 and 83 before the Belgian hit back with his own 56 clearance to move within two frames of a place in the second round.
Fu then won four more frames on the spin to drag the match level at 8-8.
Brecel took the 17th stanza with a confident break of 78 that put the finish line in sight. But Fu took the last two frames with breaks of 85 and 56 to complete one of the most dramatic comebacks the storied Crucible theatre has seen in recent years.
“I made a similar comeback against Stuart Bingham in the world amateur final, where I was 7-1 down and I won 11-10. But this is the Crucible. From yesterday to today it was like two different seasons, it was very hard to understand what happened, but I’m through and I’m very happy,” said Fu, who will begin his second round match on Sunday morning.
Elsewhere in the night session, world number 11 Mark Allen came through a tough encounter with Jimmy Robertson 10-8.
Allen will face John Higgins or Martin Gould in the second round.