13.7.12

THE FU ENIGMA

Marco Fu is through to the semi-finals of the Australian Goldfields Open.

There are few leading players harder to predict. Fu is world class at his best but there are also times where he fails to turn up, in a snooker sense.

Snooker, albeit the players’ livelihoods, is a game. Its various successes and failures are very public.

Life, on the other hand, happens largely away from the prying eyes of the media and fans.

You can look at a list of results and wonder how player X could possibly have lost to player Z but this does not factor in any personal issues which may have affected performance.

Fu was one of a number of players who were managed by 110sport, which fell apart last year.

The financial worries this must have caused certainly will not have helped any of the players involved.

More happily, Marco has got married to his girlfriend, Shirley. I remember when she came to the Championship League in the depths of the British winter. She’d never seen snow before and while we were sat around indoors whining about the weather, she was outside taking photos.

Marco has long been one of snooker’s good guys. You won’t hear him having a go at people in private, never mind in public.

His problem, all through his career, has been consistency. At his best he can beat anyone. At his worst he can look average. There is often little middle ground in his performances.

When he first broke through he quickly replaced James Wattana as the leading Asian player but has since been usurped by Ding Junhui.

He has had a lot of coaching in his time and this may have knocked his natural rhythm, but at his best he is a very heavy scorer.

At the World Championship last season he was poor, well below his best. But his record against the likes of Ronnie O’Sullivan and John Higgins proves how good he can be.

Humble in victory or defeat, Fu will take either on the chin whatever happens this weekend.

If he does win the trophy it will hopefully be a springboard for a productive season to come.

16 comments:

Anonymous said...

I remember his performance at the 2006 world championship vividly; very strange match against Ebdon which produced the worst session of the season. What started out as the worst match of the event—with both Ebdon and FU taking stick off the media—ended up as the most exciting, after Ebdon took control only for Fu to launch a stunning comeback. He played superlative stuff. He probably played the best snooker of the championship all things considered and I think would have had a decent chance of beating Dott in the final had he won the decider against Ebdon, so this is a player that could conceivably have been world and UK champion by now with the rub of the green.

On another note, the first two ranking events of the season have featured SEVEN players over 30 (with three over 40) at the semi-finals stage, while the quarter-finals have featured TWELVE players over 30. Quite remarkable how the age is trending upwards.

Clive Stringer said...

If you'd have said Mark Davis and Marco Fu would have been contesting world ranking event semi-finals in the immediate aftermath of their world championship exits you'd have got laughed out of Sheffield.

Just goes to show what can be achieved with self-belief, renewed confidence and obviously not a little talent. Particularly pleased for Marco because there were severe signs his decline looked terminal.

ddrIII said...

All of us from Hong Kong are not going to take things for granted.

We are already satisfy with it.

But what inside my mind now is that Curcible semi-final 6 years ago.

Mal said...

It has certainly been noticeable the last few yesrs that tournmanet winners are getting older and the younger players like Allen, Trump, ?Ding, Cope are not taking over like many thought, though there is still time. Certainly Cope has fallen away quite a bit and Allen is inconsistent and has the other public issues which don't help. Ding is also imconsistent. Trump has come through well the last 18 months, but still has some way to go. The likes of Selby, Maguire and Murphy meanwhile have all had their moments, but not to the consistency of some others.

I think that is a big reason why the older players are doing well as they are all good, but in the late 90s - mid 00s, the elite (SH/MW/ROS/JH along with PE/KD/SL/PH) were all consistent for many years.

There is just one 40+ in the semis of these two tournaments though - Peter Ebdon. Mark Davis and Marcus Campbell in the last event are both still 39, though 40 later this year. Will be interesting when all players are in an event how it goes.

kildare cueman said...

Never liked Fu as a player. Always found him a bit robotic and too disciplined. He is a nice lad however, and I wouldn't begrudge him a bit of glory.

I think Fu, like all pros, are virtually unbeatable when they're at the top of their game. The problem is, they're not at the top of their games often enough. You just have to look at players like Ricky Walden, Stuart Bingham and Andrew Higginson. When they play well you wonder how they dont win a lot more, but after winning an event, you might not see them for a season. Prolific winners like Higgins, Hendry, Williams etc. are able to keep their form intact and more importantly, raise it when their backs are against the wall.

jamie brannon said...

A class act on or off his baize. It is hard to think any snooker fan would dislike him.

Anonymous said...

i know marco (and some family) well.

dave, youve captured him perfectly.

Anonymous said...

Fu - nice guy but Mark Davis is on fire. In his interview 13:20 BST today on the feed from Australia he oozed confidence. Good luck to him.

As for Edbdon it's up to him how he plays. It's not my call. It is however my call where I spend my money as a spectator & subscriber to pay TV services, and I expect to be entertained - just as Gould & Davis did today - not sent to sleep.

Anonymous said...

Mal,

Who's PH?

Anonymous said...

i was more entertained watching ebbos opponent....try to overcome him, than the other pot fest.

horses for courses

Can147 said...

Was trying to figure out the same thing...my guess... ph is paul hunter

Anonymous said...

Paul Hunter would surely have been a World Champion by now.

William Callaghan said...

sorry for going off subject Dave, but can you tell me who's reffing the final? keep up the good work, enjoyed our commentary on EuroSport this week.

Dave H said...

Eirian Williams

JAMIE O'REILLY said...

Hi David. Good effort by Fu. Ebdon was a bit to strong on the day though, winning, 6-2, in the semi-final.

Anonymous said...

Fu seems like a really nice guy. I wish him all the best.