Marco Fu dispatched of world number one Mark Selby to reach the semi-finals of the Players Championship in Llandudno on Thursday.
The Scottish Open champion, one of the most in-form players over the last three months, twice trailed by a single frame but managed to tie the scores at 2-2 before the mid-session interval.
Upon the restart the Hong Konger took control of the contest to prevail 5-2, heaping further misery on Selby who has not threatened at the business end of a tournament since capturing a second UK Championship crown at the start of December.
Fu, on the other hand, has featured near the latter stages of many tournaments including the Masters and World Grand Prix where he also reached the last four stage.
The 39 year-old will be hoping to go one further in Wales on this occasion as he awaits the winner of the last quarter-final to be played on Friday between Ding Junhui and Anthony Hamilton.
Selby, meanwhile, will have slight concern over his form with the defence of his World Championship title imminent.
That said, the “Jester” remains the bookies 5/1 joint favourite at the Crucible, with many tipsters, such as SBAT, likely to offer some additional free bets offers.
Meanwhile, earlier on the fourth day of action, Ali Carter also came from behind to overcome Australia’s Neil Robertson 5-3.
The “Captain” had the opening frame snatched from within his grasp when Robertson forced and then potted a re-spotted black.
Robertson also established a 3-2 advantage with the help of a 57, unusually his highest break of the fixture, but watched as his opponent reeled off three consecutive frames to move into the next round.
It marks the first time in seven attempts that the World Open champion had been able to get one over on Robertson.
Carter will meet Judd Trump in the first semi-final which will take place on Friday evening.
Most of the duo’s battles have come in the short format Championship League but Carter actually boasts the advantage in their head-to-head record outside that tournament.
This includes earlier this season at the China Championship and also a memorable 13-12 triumph at the 2012 World Championship.
That said, Trump will certainly begin the tie as the favourite given his overall form of late, which has seen him reach countless semi-finals and finals.
Before that, either Ding or Hamilton will attempt to complete the final four line-up.
Hamilton has only one victory against the illustrious Chinese number one but has arguably been the player of the season so far, such has been his dramatic turnaround in fortunes and form.
Ding will be hoping to continue where he left off against John Higgins in the last 16 here, when he sensationally came back from 4-0 down to oust the Scot in a decider.
With Selby crashing out in their half of the draw, both men may be feeling there is an opportunity to capitalise this week, with £125,000 at stake for the champion on Sunday.
Coverage continues on ITV4.
Categories: Snooker News