And so we come to those players still on the circuit, who are at something of a disadvantage as it is harder to put their careers into perspective.

MARCO FU (Hong Kong)

Years as professional: 1997-
Ranking titles: 1
Ranking finals: 3
Other titles: 1
Highest ranking: 8
Years in top 16: 4
Crucible appearances: 8

At his best, Fu is a formidable competitor with a fine temperament and the game to beat anyone.

This is evidenced by his excellent record against both Ronnie O’Sullivan and John Higgins.

What has let him down over the years is a lack of consistency, partly due to his desire to change his technique early in his professional career and work on it ever since.

Fu won the 1997 world amateur title and joined the circuit full time in 1998, when he reached the final of that season’s first event, the Grand Prix at Preston, beating O’Sulivan and Peter Ebdon en route.

He was beaten 9-2 by a superlative Stephen Lee performance but served notice that he could become Asia’s first Crucible champion.

Fu made it into the top 16 after only two seasons but immediately dropped out again as he struggled to maintain his early potential.

There were highlights. He made a 147 – the first to be screened on the internet – at the 2000 Scottish Masters, beat O’Sullivan in the first round of the 2003 World Championship and won the 2003 Premier League.

However, it wasn’t until 2007 that he captured his first ranking title. Fu defeated O’Sullivan again to land the Grand Prix, his focused, metronomic playing style contrasting with the Rocket’s instinctive, volatile approach.

The previous year, Fu recovered from 15-9 down to take Ebdon to a deciding frame in their Crucible semi-final.

Last season, he took Shaun Murphy the full distance in the UK Championship final.


Sparky said...

Soooo... with Robertson, Ding, Wattana and Thorburn to go...

Number 1 has got to be Thorburn. World Champion, two more finals, three Masters titles, first 147 at the Crucible, ranked as No1 in the world!

Not to mention the fact that he spent a good 20 years amongst the very top, or nearby!

shaun said...

fu looks completely unflappable around the table and i think if he improves his safety game there is a few more ranking events to be won

Anonymous said...

If those are the last 4 sparky wheres Quinten Hann just for another "toshgate" please Dave.........

Anonymous said...

I ask again, Bob Chaperon?

And Fu is the second most boring player to ever appear on our screens. Another one for Dave's next list.

Anonymous said...

Bob Champion won the grand national.

jamie brannon said...

This is a little pedantic, but Drago is still on the circuit. I was joking about Hann I knew he wouldnt make it. I was thinking to myself will he consider a comeback when his ban is over.

Anonymous said...

Up to now, Fu's Crucible appearances should be 9 times instead of 8.

Anonymous said...

His talent is undoubted but like others on the list, Kirk Stevens, Tony Drago eg, he is also a supreme underachiever. Should be winning more to justify his skills.

Anonymous said...

Fu is really an underachiever