Marco Fu Ka-chun showed glimpses of his best form in his first competitive tournament in more than two years, but ultimately came up just short in his World Snooker Championship qualifier. The Hongkonger lost an enthralling best-of-11 frames battle with England’s Ian Burns 6-5, despite battling back from 3-0 and 5-3 down, and took the game to a decider after rattling off a break of 122 to draw level. It was a different story for compatriot Ng On-yee, who was well beaten by Rory McLeod in her first round match at the English Institute of Sport in Sheffield on Tuesday. 99 break - it's as if he's never been away 👏 Burns still leads Fu 3-2 (11) #ilovesnooker pic.twitter.com/bVjUyNGRro — World Snooker Tour (@WeAreWST) April 5, 2022 “It’s nice to be back, I missed playing in the pro circuit,” said Fu, who last competed on the tour at the 2020 Welsh Open before the coronavirus pandemic struck. “It has been too long as I have been back home and stuck in Covid-19 for two years … I almost forgot how to play the game. “These two years have been strange time for everybody, especially for the overseas players. I did not really expect too much coming over here because I haven’t been playing for almost three months as used only a week of intense training [to prepare for the event] with seven to eight hours a day trying to pick up the form.” Fu, who at times looked like the player who made the semi-finals of the World Championship on two occasions, was happy despite the defeat. “I have not been given the chance of playing in tournaments and coming over here I feel like an amateur challenging these pro boys which I am pretty proud of the way I played today,” said the 44-year-old veteran, who has three ranking tournaments under his belt. “Towards the end of the match today I was able to make a few breaks, but I was also missing a lot of easy shots. Ian played very well. I don’t think he missed too many long pots and was scoring well. It was hard to live up with that kind of standard.” Tough crowd. #ilovesnooker @Betfred pic.twitter.com/JaGBtrltoC — World Snooker Tour (@WeAreWST) April 5, 2022 A 141 total clearance in the second frame – an early contender for the £15,000 tournament high-break prize – helped put Burns 3-0 ahead. Fu recovered to 3-all, and later came from 5-3 down to level the score at 5-5. But a break of 73 gave Burns the decider and set up a second round meeting with Elliot Slessor. “I know Marco hasn’t played a lot in the last couple of years, but when the draw came out I knew it was going to be a really tough game,” said Burns, who still needs three more wins to earn a Crucible debut in the main draw. “My game is in good shape and I knew I would have to play well today. Getting to the Crucible is something that everyone dreams of doing and there is pressure out there.” For Fu, the qualifier has reignited his desire to play more, although he said whether he could do so would depend on Hong Kong’s continued use of quarantine. “I am not too sure [about the future] but I would love to come and play in more tournaments,” he said. “It all depends on the quarantine policy in Hong Kong. “If it keeps like seven days, it’s acceptable and I can keep coming over here but if it suddenly changes to 21 days, then I need to stop.” Earlier, Ng made a break of 97 in a convincing start against McLeod, but that was as good as it got for The Winchester Women’s Open champion. McLeod hit back to take six of the next seven frames with a top break of 93, setting up a second round clash against former world champion Ken Doherty.