Marco Fu feeling blue as miss proves costly at Scottish Open
Defending champion loses in the last 16 after leading 59-0 in the deciding frame against China’s Xiao Guodong, who produces a thrilling comeback
Hong Kong snooker star Marco Fu Ka-chun made a painful exit in his defence of the Scottish Open against China’s Xiao Guodong, who produced a stunning comeback to win the deciding frame on the last black in Glasgow.
World No 9 Fu thought he had done enough to win the best-of-seven encounter when he led 59-0 in the deciding frame but a miss on the blue would prove costly in the end for him at the Emirates Arena.
Xiao, the Gloucester-based world number 34, then polished everything in sight, including a difficult pink and then a finely cut black to win the frame 73-59 and complete a dramatic 4-3 victory.
Watch: Marco Fu v Xiao Guodong (last frame) at Scottish Open
Fu had done well to come back from 3-0 down in frames to make things delicately poised at 3-3 but 28-year-old Xiao displayed coolness under pressure, producing a thrilling 73 clearance that even Fu applauded in the end.
— World Snooker (@WorldSnooker1) December 14, 2017
Fu’s defeat came 12 months after the 39-year-old Hong Kong cueist celebrated one of the best ranking tournament wins of his career but it’s been a disappointing season for the Hong Kong star, who before the Scottish Open had failed to reach the last 16 of his previous ranking tournaments.
And his miss on the blue was the last touch of the cueball for the year with the 2018 Masters in January his next tournament. The Hong Kong star was given more bad news after learning that he has been drawn against five-time world champion Ronnie O’Sullivan, of England, in the first round of the Masters at London’s Alexandra Palace. O’Sullivan won a record seventh Masters title by defeating Joe Perry 10-7 in the final earlier this year.
In previous rounds at the Scottish Open, Fu beat Welshman Duane Jones (4-0), China’s Fang Xiongman (4-2) and Zhou Yuelong (4-3).
O’Sullivan reached the quarter-finals of the Scottish Open after being caught napping – literally – during his earlier victory against Chinese player Li Hang.
But the power nap seemed to have helped as the Englishman squeezed past Li 4-3. O’Sullivan then returned to the table to defeat Welshman Michael White 4-1. He now plays Scotsman and four-time world champion John Higgins in the quarter-finals. Also through to the quarters were Australia’s former world champion Neil Robertson and Englishman Judd Trump.
O’Sullivan told Eurosport: “My doctor’s told me to catch some rest whenever I can because he knows I’ve had a busy eight weeks. So even when I thought I shouldn’t be sleeping, I’ve just been sleeping and it’s working. It’s just a little snooze – everyone needs a snooze.”