Wikipedia - Marco Fu

Marco Fu Ka-chun, MH, JP (Chinese: 傅家俊; born 8 January 1978) is a Hong Kong professional snooker player. He is a three-time ranking event winner, having won the 2007 Grand Prix, the 2013 Australian Goldfields Open and the 2016 Scottish Open. He has been a runner-up at two Triple Crown events, at the 2008 UK Championship and the 2011 Masters. In addition, Fu has reached the semi-finals of the World Championship twice—in 2006 and in 2016.

Fu reached a career-high ranking of fifth in the world in 2017. He turned professional in 1998 and has remained on the World Snooker Tour to-date. Despite not competing in events during the COVID-19 pandemic, Fu was given an invitational place to remain on the tour during the 2021–22 snooker season. As a prolific break-builder, Fu has compiled over 500 century breaks in professional competition, including five maximum breaks. A cultural icon in Hong Kong, Fu presented a 10-episode chat show called Marco Fu and Friends on ViuTV.


Early career

Marco Fu was born on 8 January 1978 in British Hong Kong. He began playing snooker at age nine, but did not do so regularly until he was 15. Fu migrated to Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada with his parents at age 12. After his high school graduation at age 18, Hong Kong Billiard Sports Control Council Co. Ltd. President Joseph Lo invited him to return to Hong Kong to begin his career as a professional snooker player. Before turning professional, Fu won the IBSF World Snooker Championship and the IBSF World Under-21 Snooker Championship, both in 1997.

After winning these tournaments, Fu turned professional for the 1998–99 snooker season. In his first season as a professional, he was ranked 377th in the world. He reached the final of the Grand Prix, beating Ronnie O'Sullivan 5–2 and then Peter Ebdon 5–3. Stephen Lee defeated him 2–9 in the final. During the rest of the 1998–99 season, Fu qualified for four more ranking tournaments, including the 1999 World Snooker Championship, winning four qualifying matches before losing to James Wattana 8–10 in the first round of the main draw. He was voted World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association (WPBSA) Newcomer of the Year and WSA Young Player of the Year in 1999.

World Championship quarter-finalist (1999–2003)

In the 1999–00 season, with Fu now ranked 35th in the world, he received automatic entry into the main draw of most of the ranking tournaments. Although he failed to repeat the success of reaching the final of the Grand Prix, he made a run to the quarter-finals before losing to Ali Carter. Other achievements of note include reaching the semi-finals of the 2000 Malta Grand Prix and the Scottish Open. Following a dramatic rise, in the 2000–01 season Fu was ranked 15th in the world, his first appearance in the top 16. However, a succession of defeats and a first-round loss at the 2001 World Snooker Championship to Chris Small, saw him fall out of the top 16 for the next season. In the 2001–02 season Fu's best result was a last 16 appearance at the LG Cup. He failed to qualify for three ranking events, including the 2002 World Snooker Championship, and, as a result, his ranking fell to 27 for the following season.

Prior to the 2003 Welsh Open, his best result of the 2002–03 season was reaching the third round of the 2002 UK Championship in December 2002. However, at the Welsh Open in February, Fu defeated Stephen Lee 5–0 in the second round and beat Ronnie O'Sullivan 5–3 in the quarter-finals before losing his semi-final 4–6 to Stephen Hendry, who went on to win the title. Going into the 2003 World Snooker Championship three months later, after first round losses at the European and Scottish Opens, he drew world number one Ronnie O'Sullivan in the first round.

Snooker Scene later described the match between O'Sullivan and Fu as "one of the greatest upsets in the history of the game". Fu held a 6–3 overnight lead and, despite O'Sullivan making a maximum break, Fu won 10–6. Fu subsequently eliminated Alan McManus 13–7 in the second round, before losing 7–13 to Stephen Lee in his quarter-final match. Later that year, Fu won his first professional title at the invitational Premier League, beating Mark Williams 9–5 in the final.

First ranking tournament title (2004–2008)

As a result of his run to the quarter-finals of the World Championship the previous season, Fu climbed to number 19 in the world rankings for the 2003–04 season. He qualified for all the ranking tournaments except the World Championship. His best result included a third round loss to Michael Holt in the LG Cup and reaching the semi-finals of the Welsh Open, beating Liu Song, Matthew Stevens, Ken Doherty and Stephen Hendry before succumbing to Steve Davis. Fu finished the season ranked 16th in the world.

His best result the following season was a quarter-final loss to Ding Junhui at the China Open. He finished the season ranked 25, falling nine places. A series of first round defeats during the 2005–06 season saw him provisionally drop out of the top 32. However, he had a good run at the 2006 World Championship, beating three seeded players—Alan McManus 10–3, Stephen Maguire 13–4, and Ken Doherty 13–10. He reached the semi-finals where he lost to the 2002 world champion Peter Ebdon 16–17. In that match, Fu was 9–15 down with only one session left to play, but won seven out of the next eight frames to send the match into the deciding frame, which Ebdon eventually won. This run enabled him to stay in the world top 32 for next season, ranked 22.

Marco Fu after winning the 2007 Grand Prix

In the 2006–07 season he did not compete in the 2006 UK Championship so he could attend the 2006 Asian Games, where he won two silver medals. At the 2007 World Snooker Championship, Fu lost 3–10 to Anthony Hamilton in the first round. His best result during the season was a quarter-final run in the China Open, where he lost to Ronnie O'Sullivan. Following a first round loss at the Shanghai Masters, and nine years after his first appearance in a ranking final at the 1998 Grand Prix, Fu won the 2007 Grand Prix —his first victory in a ranking event. After defeating the reigning world champion John Higgins in the first knock-out round 5–4, Liu Song 5–0 in the quarter-finals. and Gerard Greene 6–5 in the semi-finals, he faced Ronnie O'Sullivan in the final. After falling 3–4 behind after the first session, he won 9–6, with a break of 76 in the final frame. He later reached the quarter-finals of the 2007 UK Championship, losing to Mark Selby and the semi-finals of the 2008 Masters, losing to Stephen Lee.

He qualified for the 2008 World Snooker Championship, with a 10–3 win over Alan McManus. He played Ding in the first round where he lost 9–10. He capped a successful season by finishing in career high 14th in the rankings, a climb of thirteen places from the previous season.

UK Championship finalist (2008–2010)

The 2008–09 season started with a last 32 loss to Barry Hawkins in the Northern Ireland Trophy and losing in the quarter-finals of the Shanghai Masters to Mark Selby. At the Grand Prix, he lost in the second round to Ronnie O'Sullivan, a rematch of last season's final. At the 2008 UK Championship, he beat Barry Hawkins in the first round, followed by Matthew Stevens and Joe Perry. In the semi-finals, Fu defeated Ali Carter: after trailing 2–5, he levelled to 6–6 and won 8–6. In the final, Shaun Murphy defeated Fu 9–10. He suffered a first round defeat to John Higgins at the Masters. At the 2009 World Snooker Championship, he advanced to the second round by beating Joe Swail 10–4 before losing 3–13 to Murphy.

In December 2009, Fu participated in the East Asian Games, held in Hong Kong. In the singles competition Yu Delu beat him by 4–1 in the quarter-finals, but he later won a gold medal in the team competition. Fu lost his next three first-round matches. He lost against Peter Lines 3–9 at the 2009 UK Championship, Peter Ebdon 2–6 at the Masters and Andrew Higginson 2–5 at the Welsh Open.

However, Fu won the 2010 Championship League by beating Mark Allen 3–2 in the final. Fu also reached the quarter-finals of the 2010 China Open, where he lost 1–5 against Mark Williams. At the last ranking event of the season, the World Championship, Fu faced Martin Gould in the first round and led 5–4 after the first session. Ultimately Fu lost the match 9–10.

Masters finalist (2010–15)

Marco Fu at the 2011 German Masters

In November 2010, Fu participated in the Asian Games, held in Guangzhou. He won the singles competition by defeating Ding Junhui 4–2 in the final. Fu also reached the semi-finals of the Premier League where he lost 2–5 against Shaun Murphy. He lost in the second round of the 2010 UK Championship 2–9 against Stuart Bingham. Fu participated at the Players Tour Championship, where his best results came at the first and second events in Sheffield, where he reached the semi-finals, losing 1–4 against Stephen Maguire and 2–4 against Mark Selby, respectively. He later finished 16th on the Players Tour Championship Order of Merit.

He reached the final of the 2011 Masters, where he lost 4–10 against Ding Junhui. Fu reached the semi-finals of the 2011 German Masters, where he lost 3–6 against Mark Williams. At the 2011 Welsh Open, he was whitewashed by Mark Williams in the last 32, after winning his qualifying match 4–1 against Joe Swail. Fu lost his first round matches at the China Open and World Championship, 3–5 against Judd Trump and 8–10 against Martin Gould, respectively. He finished the season ranked world number 23, the first time he had been outside of the elite top 16 since 2007.

Fu qualified for four of the eight ranking tournaments of the 2011–12 season. At the Welsh Open he lost in the first round 1–4 to Ronnie O'Sullivan and lost in the first round of the World Open following a 3–5 defeat to John Higgins. Fu had earlier made the second maximum break of his career during the final qualifying round for the World Open in a match against Matthew Selt. Fu's best performance of the season came at the 2011 UK Championship. He qualified by beating Anthony Hamilton 6–5 and then saw off Stuart Bingham 6–4 in the first round to set up a last 16 clash with world number one, Mark Selby who he defeated 6–3 and then played Mark Allen in the quarter-finals. Fu led 5–4 in the match, but lost the last two frames to lose 5–6. Fu qualified for the 2012 World Snooker Championship with a 10–4 win over Shailesh Jogia, but lost in the first round of the event 3–10 to Matthew Stevens. As a result, he finished the season ranked world number 28, his lowest position since 2000.

In Australia, Fu saw a return to form as he beat Joe Perry, Jamie Burnett and Stephen Lee all by 5–1 scorelines to reach the semi-finals of the Australian Open. There he lost 2–6 to Peter Ebdon and said after the match that his goal for the season was to reclaim a top 16 place. At the International Championship he secured wins over Martin Gould and Mark Davis to reach the quarter-finals. Fu let a 3–1 lead against Shaun Murphy slip to lose 4–6. Before he played Mark Allen in the first round of the 2012 UK Championship, Allen reiterated his views that Fu had cheated in a prior match. Fu himself denied the claims and went on to defeat Allen 6–3. Allen received a three-month suspended ban for his comments. In the second round Fu lost 4–6 to Matthew Stevens. He reached his first ranking event final since 2008 at the German Masters by beating Ricky Walden, Peter Lines and Matthew Stevens all 5–3. His semi-final against Barry Hawkins included a near hour-long battle of play, with Fu edging the match 6–4 just after midnight. Fu led Ali Carter 5–3 after the opening session of the final, but on the resumption of play did not pot a ball for 86 minutes and lost 6–9. Following this, Fu lost in the second round of the World Open to Ding Junhui and in the first rounds of the Welsh Open and the China Open to Allen and Graeme Dott respectively.

Fu at the 2013 German Masters

Fu played in seven minor-ranking Players Tour Championship events and reached the final of the Third Event by defeating veteran players Stephen Maguire, Mark Williams, Ali Carter and Shaun Murphy. He lost to world number 65 Rod Lawler 2–4 in the final. He also reached the quarter-finals of the European Tour Event 3, which helped him finish 21st on the Order of Merit to qualify for the Finals. In the Finals Fu beat Mark Joyce and Carter, before losing 1–4 to Tom Ford in the quarter-finals. Fu won Group 7 of the Championship League courtesy of a 3–0 victory over Maguire and in the Winners Group lost in the semi-finals 0–3 to Carter. In the first round of the World Championship, Fu beat Matthew Stevens 10–7 to face Judd Trump in the last 16. He fell 2–6 behind after the first session, but fought back to trail only 7–8 before losing five consecutive frames to end his season with a 7–13 defeat. Fu finished just short of his early season goal to get back into the top 16 as he finished world number 17, but this did mean he had climbed 11 spots during the year.

The Wuxi Classic was Fu's first ranking event of the 2013–14 season; he lost 4–5 to Mark King in the second round. He then played in the Australian Goldfields Open where he defeated Ken Doherty 5–2, Shaun Murphy 5–2 and Dominic Dale 5–1. In the semi-finals he built a 4–1 lead over Robert Milkins and later won 6–4. Fu faced world number one Neil Robertson in the final, defeating him 9–6 to take the second ranking event title of his career and regain his place in the top 16 of the world rankings. Another final followed at the minor-ranking Bluebell Wood Open, with Fu fighting back from 1–3 down against Ricky Walden to square the match at 3–3 before Walden a pot in the deciding frame to win. Fu then lost in the second round of both the Shanghai Masters 5–3 to Kyren Wilson and the Indian Open 4–3 to Gary Wilson. He advanced to the quarter-finals of the International Championship where he played Mark Selby. Fu came back from 5–3 down to take the match 6–5 with consecutive breaks of 84 and 112 in the final frame before defeating Joe Perry 9–8 in the semi-final. In the final, Fu won an hour long frame to hold a 9–8 advantage over his opponent Ding Junhui, but lost the match 9–10.

Fu then suffered defeats in the first round of the 2013 UK Championship and German Masters to Mitchell Travis and Paul Davison respectively. However, he reached the quarter-finals of the Welsh Open where Barry Hawkins whitewashed him 5–0. Fu beat world number one Neil Robertson in the last 16 of the World Open 5–4 on a and eliminated Mark Joyce 5–3 in the next round. In the semi-finals he won three successive frames from 5–1 down against Mark Selby but lost the next frame to be beaten 6–4. Another semi-final followed at the PTC Finals with a 4–1 victory against John Higgins in the quarters, however, he suffered a 4–2 defeat against Gerard Greene. Fu lost 13–8 to Shaun Murphy in the second round of the World Championship.

In the 2014–15 season, Fu reached seven quarter-finals. His first came in the opening ranking event, the Wuxi Classic, where he lost 5–4 to Barry Hawkins. He was knocked out in the first round of the Shanghai Masters. He saw off Liam Highfield, David Gilbert and Rod Lawler at the International Championship, before a ranking event quarter-final went the distance for the second time this season as Fu lost 6–5 to Robert Milkins. Ronnie O'Sullivan whitewashed him 6–0 in the last eight of the non-ranking Champion of Champions. Another quarter-final followed at the 2014 UK Championship after Fu came back from 5–3 down to eliminate Shaun Murphy 6–5, with both players criticising the condition of the table after the match. Stephen Maguire knocked him out 6–4.

At the Masters, Fu made his third competitive maximum break in his first-round match against Stuart Bingham beating him 6–3 to advance to the sixth quarter-final of his season, where he lost to O'Sullivan him 6–1. His final quarter-final exit of the season came in the Welsh Open 5–1 at the hands of Mark Williams. For the ninth successive season, Fu could not progress past the second round of the World Championship as Judd Trump defeated him 13–8.

Later career (2015–2019)

After exiting the first two ranking events of the 2015–16 season at the first round stage, Fu met David Gilbert in the quarter-finals of the International Championship but lost 5–6 after leading 4–2. He won the non-ranking General Cup by beating Mark Williams 7–3. Fu eliminated Shaun Murphy in the fourth round of the 2015 UK Championship for the second year in a row. Liang Wenbo opened their quarter-final match with three successive centuries, but Fu fought back to send the tie to a deciding frame which he lost. En route to the final of the Gibraltar Open, Fu made a maximum break in the second round against Sam Baird. Fu won his first title carrying ranking points since the 2013 Australian Open by eliminating Michael White 4–1 in the final. In the 2016 World Championship, Fu saw off Peter Ebdon, Anthony McGill and Barry Hawkins to reach the semi-final for the second time but eventually lost to Selby 17–15.

After enduring a difficult start to the 2016–17 season where he failed to get beyond the second round of the first eight ranking events, Fu came back from 5–2 down to defeat Jamie Jones in the quarter-finals of the UK Championship. Leading 5–4 against Ronnie O'Sullivan in the semi-finals, he lost the final two frames to lose 5–6. Before the end of 2016, Fu reached the final of the Scottish Open, with his closest game being a 4–3 victory over Neil Robertson in the fourth round; Fu did not lose more than a frame in his other five matches. In the final against John Higgins, trailing 1–4, he won eight frames in a row to win the match 9–4. Throughout the tournament, Fu made 11 centuries and 21 more breaks over 50 in seven matches.

At the 2017 Masters, he played Judd Trump in the opening round and won 6–5. He beat Mark Allen in the quarter-finals 6–2 and then lost 6–4 to O'Sullivan in the semi-finals. Fu also played in the semi-finals of the World Grand Prix and was 4–3 up on Ryan Day, who needed four in the eighth frame. He got them to square the match and then overcame Fu 4–6. At the Players Championship, Fu defeated Anthony McGill 5–1 and Mark Selby 5–2, before coming back from 5–3 down against Ding Junhui to win 6–5 and reach the final. From 5–2 up on Trump, Fu lost six frames in a row and would be beaten 8–10. Fu had a poor start to his first round match at the World Championship as he was 7–1 down to Luca Brecel, though he made a century to be 7–2 behind overnight. He won the first two frames upon the resumption of play and eventually levelled at 8–8, later winning 10–9. The second round saw Fu play Neil Robertson, They tied at 4–4, 8–8, and 10–10. Fu lost frame 21 but won the next three to win 13–11. Fu was then defeated 13–3 by defending and eventual champion Selby, losing with a . However, he was ranked sixth after the event, the highest Fu has ever finished a season in his career.

The 2017–18 season saw Marco Fu getting off to another difficult start, as he could not reach the quarter final of any ranking event before the turn of the year. Two weeks after suffering a 0–6 defeat against Ronnie O'Sullivan in the first round of the Masters, Fu revealed that he had undergone laser eye surgery in December to treat retinal degeneration and floaters in his dominant left eye. Fu indicated he regretted taking part in the Masters while still recovering from the surgery. He also announced that he would not enter any more tournaments before making a full recovery and regaining his old level in training. He made his return at the 2018 World Snooker Championship where he lost to Lyu Haotian 5–10.

Following the eye surgery, Fu only reached the quarter-finals of the 2018 World Open, where he lost to David Gilbert, and the 2020 European Masters, losing to Gary Wilson.

COVID-19 pandemic and career revival (2020-present)

Since February 2020, Fu has returned to Hong Kong because of the COVID-19 pandemic, with his last appearance being at the 2020 Welsh Open losing to Ding in the opening round.[] Due to not playing in any events since then, his ranking has steadily dropped out of the Top 64, but an offer of an invitational tour card means he would not need to qualify to rejoin the tour as a result.

Fu returned to compete in professional snooker tournaments at the 2022 World Snooker Championship, marking the first event since the 2020 Welsh Open in which he played in an event on the main tour. He lost in the first round of qualifying, being defeated in a deciding frame by Ian Burns. As travel restrictions eased in Hong Kong, Fu proceeded to compete in the subsequent 2022-23 season where he did not top his group in the opening event, the 2022 Championship League. He had managed to qualify for the 2022 European Masters and reached the third round, consequently as a result of a bye due to his opponent in the second round not getting a visa, where he lost 5-3 to Farakh Ajaib. He did not qualify for the subsequent 2022 British Open or the 2022 Northern Ireland Open, but was invited to compete as a local wildcard in the 2022 Hong Kong Masters, where he reached the final. In his semi-final match against John Higgins, he compiled his fifth maximum break in the deciding frame.