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Fu Makes Magical Maximum


Marco Fu scored a 6-3 victory over Stuart Bingham at the Dafabet Masters, and became only the third player in the history of the tournament to make a 147.

Fu’s stunning break came in the fourth frame of his first round tie, and put the Hong Kong ace 3-1 ahead.

The world number ten was barely out of position as he potted 15 reds with blacks and cleared the colours.

Fu becomes the only player other than Canada’s Kirk Stevens (1984) and China’s Ding Junhui (2007) to make a 147 at snooker’s biggest invitation event.

It’s the third maximum of his career, 112th in snooker history and seventh of the season after 147s from Aditya Mehta, Ryan Day, Shaun Murphy, Ronnie O’Sullivan, Ben Woollaston and Barry Hawkins.

Fu will win the £10,000 high break prize for the tournament unless another player makes a 147, in which case the money will be shared.

Fu, who was runner-up to Ding Junhui at the 2011 Masters, had earlier gone 2-1 up with top breaks of 57 and 70. After the interval, he made a 103 to go 4-1 ahead. Bingham briefly rallied with runs of 50, 56 and 54 to close to 4-3, but another century from Fu, 103, saw him regain the initiative. And he got the better of a scrappy ninth frame to set up a quarter-final tie with Ronnie O’Sullivan or Ricky Walden.

Fu said: “At first I was just trying to build a frame winning break, and it wasn’t until the seventh or eighth red that I started thinking about the 147. It was just one of those breaks where every shot and every cannon worked out perfectly.

“Once I had won the frame the pressure was off, although I got nervous towards the end of the break. It was a great feeling when I potted the last black. Maximums are common these days but the players want to make them in the big events like the World, the UK and the Masters.

“It’s a very good win for me because Stuart has had a good couple of years and I knew I would have to work hard for everything. I am scoring well and fancy winning frames in one visit, though in the scrappier frames I am missing balls.”

Bingham, who has failed to reach the last eight of the Masters in six appearances, said: “Marco played very well and punished all of my mistakes. I was shocking again – I just can’t seem to play well in this tournament. It’s disappointing because I had 70 or 80 friends come to watch me. I’ve always wanted to do well in this event but it has never happened for me.”

The Basildon cueman added: “I had a few too many beers over Christmas and I need to get back to running to lose some weight. I bought a new suit for this week but I couldn’t get into it!”