Agony for Hong Kong’s Marco Fu as Ronnie O’Sullivan edges him out in snooker’s UK Championship semis

English superstar Ronnie O’Sullivan admits to breathing a sigh of relief after being pushed all the way by Hong Kong’s Marco Fu

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 04 December, 2016, 4:45pm
UPDATED : Sunday, 04 December, 2016, 11:32pm

Ronnie O’Sullivan breathed a sigh of relief after just managing to see off Hong Kong’s Marco Fu Ka-chun and reach his sixth UK Championship final.

O’Sullivan was pushed all the way in a 6-5 win and takes on Mark Selby in the final.

Fu has not been in terrific form this season and many might have expected star O’Sullivan to have it easy.

After he went into the mid-session lead with a 3-1 lead, that looked the case, but Fu came roaring back.

From 4-2 down he won the next three frames to move to a few balls from victory.

But he missed a crucial green with the rest and O’Sullivan cleared for 5-5 then showed his class with a stunning 130 break in the decider.

Fu admitted he got nervous with a place in his second UK Championship final in sight.

“I was a little bit nervous,” he told worldsnooker.com. “The yellow I was slightly the wrong side. I tried to go off two cushions for the green, but I just nudged the blue otherwise I would have been perfect and the rest shot I just twitched a little bit under pressure.

“I tried my best, I played quite well and put him under pressure but at the end of the day it was still not quite good enough.

“But I’m happy that I am playing well again. I have had a tough season and I was just trying to find a bit of form. Ronnie was just too good on the day.”

O’Sullivan admitted he had to “grind it out”.

“Marco’s a great player, great champion and he was unlucky – he had the [deciding] frame at his mercy to win it and I got out of jail,” he said.

“I thought it was over, I thought he was going to clear up. But there’s always pressure especially with the rest.

“I tried the whole match. I stayed focused, I stayed professional, I didn’t beat myself up. I did everything that was in my control to do but just sometimes it’s either there or it’s not there and I just had to grind it out.

“I’ll be underdog going into this match [the final] which is probably the first time in a long time that I will be going into the final and not being the favourite.

“I’d much rather be the favourite, I don’t mind that pressure, I enjoy that. But I will just have to go out there and do what I did tonight. Stay professional and stay patient.”