Ding Junhui leads Marco Fu 6-2 following today’s evening session, putting one hand on the Masters trophy for the first time. Can Marco do anything about it? Click below for continued updates on the match…
So the players are back out in the arena, Marco with a white shirt this time while Ding is in his usual black. Will a change of shirt spark a change in fortunes for Marco?
The first red is sunk by Ding but he has not got position on a colour, indeed he is snookered on all six. He manages to leave things safety after hitting the blue but Marco then played a telling safety to give himself the first good opportunity…which he takes with a break of 69! Perfect start.
Well, well, well, Marco has come out of the blocks like lightning tonight, that’s another frame back in no time whatsoever. Game on!
First signs of weakness from Marco as he misses with a couple of chances and allows Ding back to the table following a strange attempt to escape from a snooker. Ding though has work to do yet…
Oh that is massive. Marco with a stunning final red, followed by a marvellous snooker looked to have made it 6-5, but with just pink and black remaining Ding managed to force a foul and clear to move three clear again at 7-4. That could just be pivotal.
And that is business as usual from Ding Junhui who restores his four frame lead that he began the session with.
First frame back after the mid-session interval and although Marco had a chance, he could not make anything of it and Ding has won it in one visit. Just one away from a first Masters title now…
And that’s the trophy, another sizeable break is enough to get Ding over the line ahead of Marco Fu who briefly threatened a comeback tonight but could not manage to sustain it.
A tough match to call this, Ding will be the favourite with the bookmakers but Marco is more than capable of beating any player when on his game and will be no pushover. He did of course defeat Ding relatively recently to win the Asian Games.
The early momentum is with the favourite, a break of 16 followed by a second chance to score in and around the reds. Can he make a fast start as he has done in his last two matches against Graeme Dott and Jamie Cope? He certainly can, Ding clears with a cracking break of 120.
Hard start for Marco, he breaks off and leaves the white relatively safe, but up steps Ding and he doubles his lead with a break of 74. Marco could have come to the table for a little time potting balls but he did not fancy it…
Frame three starts with a decent safety exchange as Marco looks to slow down Ding’s early momentum. Could he force a chance of his own? Not yet, the first mistake comes from Marco’s Fu and Ding is off and running once again…only 13 however.
After 223 unanswered points, Marco is on the board thanks to an in-off from Ding into the green pocket. The baulk line is about as close to the reds as Ding has let him get so far…
That sums up the start to this match for Marco as he pots his first ball, only to go in off and see his score remain at 4…but he now has another chance and it could be a frame-winner, though the black is not well placed. No matter though, the black goes in, followed by a pretty difficult red and in difficult circumstances, Marco has his first frame on the board. An important one that, could he now draw level at the first mid-session interval? What a result that would be.
Marco in all sorts of trouble early in frame four and he cannot get out of it, a poor safety shot giving Ding the first opportunity to score…he cannot quite take it in one visit though and following a red that rattled the jaws of the green pocket, Marco has an excellent chance to level.
Not to be however, he has come awkwardly on the final brown and missed it, but Ding makes no mistake. Barring a snooker that should be 3-1 to the Chinese number 1 at the mid-session interval.
We’re back on, can Marco get himself back into this final?
Interesting frame this one, both have missed pots and fittingly with just 35 remaining, the players are separated by just a point. The difference between 4-1 and 3-2 is quite significant…and 4-1 it is. Marco had a chance to take the frame but a miss on the final brown gave Ding the chance that he needed to take the frame. The black was not straightforward but in it went.
Marco trailed Mark Allen 4-1 and came back to win, but can he do it again?
First chance for Marco Fu in a frame that he probably has to win and the gods appear to be with him, an outrageous fluke on the blue keeping the break going until it ends on 82.
Only two behind though at 4-2 now.
But Ding immediately restores his three frame lead at 5-2. The key shot was an attempted black from Marco which resulted in a rather horrendous miscue, seeing a good chance get away from him.
And he now pushes on to make it 6-2 at the close of play. Again Marco had a chance but just running out of position, he eventually missed a red to the corner and Ding stepped up to clear to the pink and secure a four frame lead heading into the evening.
Is there any way back for Hong Kong’s finest?