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.