Pics by Colin Poultney
Marco Fu, the best player so far this week at the Coral Scottish Open, thrashed Mark Davis 5-1 to reach the semi-finals.
Hong Kong’s Fu has fired eight centuries and 12 more breaks over 50 in the 21 frames he has won so far in the tournament in Glasgow and will be hard to stop if he continues in the same vein over the weekend. He faces Yu Delu next, at 7pm on Saturday (tickets still available, click here for details).
World number 14 Fu had a poor start to the season but found his form at the recent UK Championship, reaching the semi-finals, and has continued his improvement this week. His first ranking title came in Scotland back in 2007 at the Grand Prix and he is now just two wins away from the third ranking crown of his career and the £70,000 first prize at the Emirates Arena.
In fact it was Sussex’s Davis who started strongly tonight with a break of 114 in the opening frame and he had chances in the second, but Fu won it on the colours. Breaks of 53 and 132 put Fu 3-1 up at the interval.
Davis had a chance to steal the fifth frame from 70-8 down, but missed a tough last red to a top corner on 29 and his opponent potted it to lead 4-1. In frame six, Davis made 62 before missing a red to a top corner with the rest. Fu clinched victory with a tremendous 67 clearance which included a double on the last red to a centre pocket.
“I expected a tough match tonight, especially after Mark made a century in the first frame,” said 38-year-old Fu. “I just had to wait for my chances to get among the balls and score heavily, because that’s what I have been doing this week.
“I was really struggling going into the UK in York but then I found some form towards the end. I was able to bring that into the German Masters qualifiers last week and then kept it going in this tournament. After York it was very difficult to pick myself up because I came so close to beating Ronnie O’Sullivan in the semi-finals (losing 6-5). But I took a lot of positives because there’s no disgrace in losing to Ronnie and I played some good snooker.
“It’s always nice to be back in Scotland because I lived in Sterling for one year and I won my first ranking title in Aberdeen. The fans love the sport here and Scotland is a special place for snooker.”
Yu reached the first ranking event semi-final of his career by edging out Liang Wenbo 5-4 in a dramatic Chinese derby. Breaks of 53 and 56 helped world number 59 Yu race into a 3-0 lead, then Coral English Open champion Liang recovered to 3-3. Yu made a superb 76 clearance to win the seventh frame, then passed up a golden chance to secure victory in the eighth when he missed the final black off its spot, allowing Liang to pot it for 4-4.
But Yu bravely regained his composure in the deciding frame and took control with a break of 44, helped by a fluked blue. He added 17 points to leave his opponent needing a snooker, and Liang’s hopes eventually died when he accidentally knocked the pink in when trying to lay a snooker on the yellow.