MARCO FU won a high quality encounter with Martin Gould to reach the second round of the Dafabet World Championship at the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield on Wednesday.

Fu, winner of this season’s Australian Goldfields Open and runner-up in the International Championship, resumed leading 6-3 after the first session and won 10-7.

The Hong Kong cueist made breaks of 88 and 116 to pull away to 8-4 but was put under pressure by Gould, who had beaten him in the first round in 2010 and 2011.

The Londoner comfortably won the last before the interval and made a brown to pink clearance to close to just 8-6. Fu won the next but another clearance, of 69 brought Gould to within two again at 9-7.

However, from his first chance in the last Fu made 80 to advance to the second round, where he faces Shaun Murphy.

“We both played well throughout the match. I was happy with how I played and Martin kept putting pressure on me throughout the match. I’m just pleased I was able to produce some good snooker towards the end.

“I’m pretty happy with my game coming here. I can’t ask any more than that. I’m happy with the consistency I’ve produced through the season.

“It’s either really good or terrible here for me at the Crucible. I nearly got to the final (in 2006) but otherwise it’s been average. After 15 years I’m starting to feel comfortable here.

“It’s a tough draw. I won’t look any further than Shaun. It’ll be very tough. I lost to him once here 13-3 with a session to spare – hopefully that won’t happen this time.”

Gould said: “I’m disappointed but I played a good part in a very good game. We were free flowing and heavy scoring. There were a couple of twitches but you have to expect that over 19 frames. I take my hat off to Marco and wish him all the best. You have to learn from your mistakes and come back stronger next time.

On the other table, Neil Robertson, the 2010 world champion, compiled two centuries to take his tally for the season to 95 as he dominated the opening session of his match against debutant Robbie Williams, ending the afternoon 7-2 in front.


Photographs by Monique Limbos.