Marco Fu won four frames in a row against Mark Selby as he battled back to 8-8 in their Betfred World Championship semi-final clash.
An intriguing session included an unusual incident as Fu’s cue tip fell off midway through the penultimate frame, but he was able get it repaired and now stands all square with the world number one going into tomorrow’s conclusion.
Hong Kong’s Fu is aiming to become the first Asian player to reach the world final, and he’s playing in his second Crucible semi having lost the other 17-16 against Peter Ebdon back in 2006.
Leicester’s Selby is hoping to repeat his world triumph of 2014 but faces a tough battle in the last 17 frames on Saturday against a resolute opponent.
Selby led 5-3 after the first session and looked set to win the opening frame today until he missed a red to a top corner on 52. Fu replied with 31 and later cleared from green to black to steal it. Selby hit back to win the next two frames with excellent clearances – 55 and 47 – to go 7-4 ahead.
Two-time ranking event Fu then showed his break-building class with 135 and 114 in winning three frames in a row to level at 7-7. In the next frame he was on 33 when he chalked his tip, only for it to fall off on to the arena floor. Luckily the tip itself was undamaged and he was able to take a 15-minute time-out backstage while Paul Collier, who will referee this year’s final, repaired the cue. Fu kept his composure and went on to make a break of 81 to take the lead for the first time.
And he had a clear chance to win the last frame of the session but missed the last red to a top corner when trailing by 30 points. Selby missed it too, but a botched safety from Fu gave the Englishman the chance to square the match.
They resume on Saturday at 10am.