2022 Hong Kong Masters – Extraordinary Day 3 as Marco Fu and Ronnie book their place in the Final

Wow, wow, wow! where do we start ?

It was a truly extraordinary day at the 2022 Hong Kong Masters !

In the afternoon Marco Fu made history as he beat John Higgins by 6-5, scoring a 147 in the deciding frame in front of more than 5000 fans! The roar of the crowd was deafening!

The atmosphere in the venue was incredible. He made his country, Hong Kong proud. How he held it together, I don’t know.

Here is the report by WST:

Fu Downs Higgins With Sensational 147

Hong Kong snooker icon Marco Fu made a stunning maximum break in the deciding frame to beat John Higgins 6-5 in their semi-final clash at the Hong Kong Masters.

The Hong Kong Coliseum was in raptures as Fu deposited the final black in his magical break. He’s no stranger to crafting perfect runs on the sport’s biggest stages, having fired in a 147 at the 2015 Masters. Fu has now made five maximums in his career so far.

It’s the 180th official 147 in snooker history and the fourth to be made this season. Fu is now in line for the £10,000 high break prize.

The local hero must now compose himself for tomorrow’s final, where he will face either World Champion Ronnie O’Sullivan or Neil Robertson over the best of 11 frames for the £100,000 top prize.

It has been a dream week for 44-year-old Fu, after a difficult few years on and off the table. Eye problems forced him to undergo surgery back in 2018 and take a break from the sport. The pandemic followed and Fu was unable to compete for almost two seasons due to travel restrictions. During that period, he could scarcely have believed what would transpire this afternoon.

Fu was clinging to the coattails of Higgins for much of today’s game, after a break building blitz saw the Scot seize the early initiative. Runs of 105, 50, 68 and 83 helped him to establish a 3-1 lead heading into the mid-session.

When they returned, Fu clawed back within a frame thanks to a break of 61. However, 31-time ranking event winner Higgins restored his cushion thanks to a contribution of 91 in the sixth to lead 4-2.

Higgins then had an opportunity to move three up with four to play, but a missed red on 41 let Fu back to the table. He ruthlessly capitalised with 70 to make it 4-3. Fu then stole a tense eighth frame to restore parity at 4-4.

Glasgow’s four-time World Champion Higgins showed his steel with a century contribution of 105 to move one from the win. However, Fu refused to wilt and a break of 72 forced the decider. He then produced a moment of sporting drama to get over the line with a maximum break.

It is amazing. I still can’t believe what just happened there. It is impossible to do something like that,” said three-time ranking event winner Fu.

I don’t believe it and the atmosphere was incredible out there today. I am just very happy that I am playing pretty well. To beat the best players in the world like John Higgins and Mark Selby, you can’t get any better than that.

This is my best moment so far as a professional. To do something like that in front of my home crowd. We have had huge attendances so far this week and it is the best thing I’ve ever achieved.

I’ve never seen anything like this atmosphere. I am just glad I was part of the drama. It shows how much Hong Kong people love snooker. Hopefully in the future we can have a full ranking event. I think Hong Kong deserves a big event in the future.

Higgins said: “It will be an unbelievable occasion tomorrow. I actually think I will come over and watch it. Normally I don’t think I would watch the final when I’d lost. This is a special place so I think I will watch the final. It is an incredible arena.”

Higgins to stay to watch after losing … that’s never been seen before and it just tells us how remarkable this event has been so far!

Here is the 147, shared by WST on their YouTube channel

Hong Kong Masters 2022 SF – Marco Fu makes a 147 in the deciding frame against John Higgins

And some images shared on weibo, notably by SuperStars Online and WST

The evening match delivered more drama as Ronnie beat Neil Robertson by 6-4 from 4-1 down! They scored five centuries between them! They played in front of 7500 fans.

Here is the report by WST:

O’Sullivan Overhauls Robertson To Set Up Fu Final

World Champion Ronnie O’Sullivan booked a Sunday showdown with home favourite Marco Fu in the final of the Hong Kong Masters, after defeating Neil Robertson 6-4 in the last four.

The Rocket is through to his second consecutive Hong Kong Masters final, five years after his first. O’Sullivan was runner-up to Neil Robertson the last time the event was staged back in 2017.

O’Sullivan and Fu will face off over the best of 11 frames for a top prize of £100,000. The pair will battle it out in front of a sold out audience of over 9,000 fans at the Hong Kong Coliseum. World number one O’Sullivan faces a stern test against Fu, who will be full of confidence after making a 147 in the deciding frame against John Higgins earlier today.

Although O’Sullivan set the tone this afternoon with a frame winning run of 72 in the opener, Robertson stole the second on the black and gained a foot hold in the match.

The Australian then hit the after burners to soar clear. Three consecutive century breaks of 105, 100 and 135 saw him move 4-1 ahead.

From that moment, the tide turned in favour of seven-time Crucible king O’Sullivan. A break of 93 saw him cut his arrears to just two frames, before snatching the seventh on the pink to make it 4-3.

Robertson had the first opportunities in the next two frames, but failed to capitalise. In the eighth he missed a red to the top left and allowed O’Sullivan to pounce with a century run of 105. In the ninth a spurned pink to the middle was punished again by the 38-time ranking event winner, who made 104 to lead 5-4.

Australia’s Robertson was ahead again in the tenth, but O’Sullivan made a match winning clearance of 52 to earn his place in the final.

It was a great occasion, a great crowd and a great venue. The fans were amazing and they were treated to some great snooker from Neil to go 4-1 up,” said 46-year-old O’Sullivan.

If it was a boxing match they’d probably have stopped it at that point. I was getting outplayed, but I hung in there. I don’t beat myself up as much as I used to, so I always give myself a chance. That is one of my strengths, to not play my best and dig out results.

To play Marco in Hong Kong is great. It is great for Marco to make it to the final. I know how much it means to him to do well for the Hong Kong snooker fans. I am just happy that I am able to get to play him in the final.

How Ronnie won that match, I’m not sure. When Ronnie was 4-1 down I had no hope left. The momentum turned twice: first when Ronnie missed a black in frame 2 and Neil stole the frame and went on to win the next 3 as well, next when Neil missed in frame 6 and allowed Ronnie to embark on a 5 frames winning stream.

Here are images, shared on weibo by SuperStars Online and WST

Marco Fu vs Ronnie really is the dream final for the organisers of the event.

The Final is sold-out

Hong Kong Masters Final Sold Out

Tomorrow’s final of the Hong Kong Masters is now a complete sell out, with over 9,000 tickets sold for the showpiece occasion.

Home hero Marco Fu will take Ronnie O’Sullivan for the £100,000 top prize, in front of the biggest audience in snooker history at the Hong Kong Coliseum.

The previous record of 3,000, set at the 2017 Hong Kong Masters, has already been smashed several times this week. An audience of 5,000 was present for O’Sullivan’s clash with Ng On Yee yesterday evening and 7,500 spectators were in attendance for O’Sullivan and Robertson’s semi-final on Saturday night.

Can tomorrow bring even more drama? I wouldn’t bet against it. Bring it on!

2 thoughts on “2022 Hong Kong Masters – Extraordinary Day 3 as Marco Fu and Ronnie book their place in the Final

  1. Very happy for Fu: beating Higgins, making a maximum and in front of his home crowd is amazing. Such a great accomplishment after all his troubles.

    As to Ronnie: at 4-1 I just hoped the defeat would not be humiliating. So happy he managed to win, 5 frames in a row, and Robertson didn’t turn into another second coming bogeyman.

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