Marco Fu would be a leading contender to be the nicest man in snooker so his Australian Goldfields Open title triumph today was welcome, though obviously not popular in Bendigo where the local hero, Neil Robertson, finished runner-up.

Marco has throughout his career kept his head down, kept his mouth shut and just played the game he loves.

Having grown up in Happy Valley, Hong Kong a big part of his snooker education came when he moved to Canada, then a hotbed for the game.

His breakthrough came when he won the 1997 world amateur title. In his first season on the circuit, indeed in his first tournament, he reached a final at the 1998 Grand Prix.

In 2000 he became the first player to make a live 147 on the internet. He also won the 2003 Premier League and earned a reputation as a match for anyone but it was not until the 2007 Grand Prix that he won his maiden ranking title.

His success in Bendigo is his second, although he’s been close in the Big Three, finishing runner-up in the UK Championship and the Masters and losing in a decider in the 2006 World Championship semis.

Fu has suffered from inconsistency down the years. Some days he’s a world beater, others he looks flat. This can be said of many players but the disparity between Fu’s best and his worst is vast.

When he’s playing well his metronomic cue action is deadly. He’s a heavy scorer – 46 centuries last season – and has no fear of reputations.

At other times his game just isn’t there, hence his joining and then falling out of the top 16 on a number of occasions.

Marco, married to Shirley, is now a father to their daughter Alicia, which brings with it extra responsibilities. Indeed, balancing time and family life has become an increasingly important trick for snooker players.

Fu was a player who did not emerge from the fall of 110sport unscathed but has bounced back well and is now back in the top 16.

As I wrote before the event began, viewing figures in the Far East will play a large part in whether the tournament is staged again, so his run to the final and eventual success could be significant.

As for Robertson, it wasn’t a great day to be an Australian sportsman but he has increased his lead at the top of the rankings and will again be among the favourites for the next event, the European Tour event in Rotterdam which gets underway later in the week.


PaulG said...

Dave how many of Fu's matches were on the tv table semi and final obviously.was there any more his match with Murphy perhaps ?.

Anonymous said...

I have it on good authority that viewing figures in China are the key to the survival of the event

Et voila.

Anonymous said...

Do you feel the tournament overall was a success? Do you think it's got a long term future?

Dave H said...

No idea about the future of the tournament, it'll take time for the organisers to assess its commercial value. Marco's match with Murphy was televised.

ddrIII said...

All of us from Hong Kong are still feeling very excited.

When Neil knocked the black off the final green in Frame 14, many of us were shouting and even more I jumped!

Ruthie said...

Had been planning to go to Rotterdam on Saturday but withdrawals seriously making me reconsider. TV table ticket and everything. Very disappointing.

Anonymous said...

You should go Ruthie. If nothing else you can still smoke cannabis there.

Anonymous said...

Well done Marco. He can beat anyone on his day and is a model professional.

Anonymous said...

He has reached the final of the Masters and UK Championships before and is a Crucible semi-finalist so clearly, he knows his way around a table better than most. Makes you think what he could have achieved have he managed to attain some sort of consistency in his game.

Anonymous said...

Marco is a model professional.
Unflappable, sportsmanlike, hard working & never complains about travelling around the world.
He has been doing it for longer than the serial moaners of the game have.
I'd rather him than the likes of Mark Allen, who by comparison is lazy, uneducated and pointless.