Seven Up For Fab Fu
Marco Fu carved out a 7-1 lead over Barry Hawkins as their Betfred World Championship quarter-final clash got underway.
Hawkins played brilliant snooker to beat Ronnie O’Sullivan in the second round, closing out an epic 13-12 victory last night, but looked drained today and was unable to reproduce the same form. Fu, by contrast, was in a break-building rhythm as he took a huge stride towards a place in the last four. The Hong Kong ace is bidding to reach his second Crucible semi-final and first since 2006 when he lost 17-16 to Peter Ebdon. In fact that was the last time he appeared in the quarter-finals.
World number 14 Fu dominated the first five frames today, with Hawkins scoring a mere 31 points. Breaks of 73, 76 and 81 helped Fu go 5-0 ahead. Hawkins took the sixth frame by clearing from blue to black, but Fu took the next two with runs of 66, 50 and 57. They resume at 2.30pm on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, John Higgins came from 3-1 down to secure a 5-3 lead over Alan McManus. Higgins is in the quarter-finals for the first time since he won his fourth world crown in 2011, and he looks to be hitting form at the right moment. The Scot has already won the Australian Goldfields Open and International Championship this season and is targeting his 29th ranking title.
Higgins took the opening frame today with a break of 63 before 45-year-old McManus, the oldest Crucible quarter-finalist since Steve Davis 2010, hit back to win the next three frames with runs of 114, 78 and 56.
McManus appeared to be suffering with a neck injury and made several unforced errors after the interval as Higgins took control. The Wishaw cueman won a scrappy fifth frame then made breaks of 51 and 75 to go 4-3 up. And Higgins also took the last of the session for a two-frame lead. They are back on the baize at 10am on Wednesday.