Semi-Final: Marco Fu v Ronnie O'Sullivan Masters Snooker


Semi-Final: Marco Fu v Ronnie O'Sullivan

Hazel Irvine introduces live coverage of the first semi-final at the 2017 Masters, featuring Marco Fu and Ronnie O'Sullivan. The match is the best of 11 frames.


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Transcript


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Good afternoon. What a week it's been here at Alexandra Palace. This

:00:31.:00:39.

Dafabet Masters has given us 20 centuries, four fabulous final frame

:00:40.:00:43.

deciders, startling one-sided matches as well, and it's also seen

:00:44.:00:47.

the exit of the world number one, Mark Selby. And with it, the chance

:00:48.:00:52.

of a Selby slam of snooker majors. But, what a weekend of sport it's

:00:53.:00:57.

left us with, with all eyes on these guys in the semi-finals.

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We are both under pressure in the semi-final of the Masters. I'm

:01:05.:01:10.

really looking forward to hopefully another great match. I played every

:01:11.:01:15.

ball as if it was so important to the end and see what the result is.

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It will be difficult playing a good friend. Sometimes it creates a

:01:22.:01:26.

scrappy game. Hopefully if I play well, it doesn't go scrappy. He

:01:27.:01:31.

hasn't got any weaknesses. Everyone knows how good he is. I'm going to

:01:32.:01:35.

try to be better than he is. It's going to be fantastic.

:01:36.:01:40.

Two cracking semi-finals Steve. Let's talk about the one this

:01:41.:01:45.

evening, Barry Hawkins against Joe Perry, what about their progress in

:01:46.:01:50.

the tournament? Barry is in Masters winning form. He did a job on Mark

:01:51.:01:54.

Selby. He said it was one of his best matches. He seems to be in

:01:55.:02:00.

great form. As for Joe Perry, he's come here with the, I'm not playing

:02:01.:02:04.

well attitude, two great results, in the semi-final? He's in Masters

:02:05.:02:11.

winning form. He's playing fantastic form, he must fancy the job, best

:02:12.:02:15.

form of his life. And this afternoon we've got a wonderful occasion,

:02:16.:02:21.

atmosphere. Marco Fu at 39 playing at his best in his career. He's in

:02:22.:02:25.

Masters winning form. LAUGHTER.

:02:26.:02:30.

Marco Fu is in the best form of his life! He put paid to Judd Trump,

:02:31.:02:35.

that was astonishing. The interesting thing is, all of a

:02:36.:02:38.

sudden, you've got three players in great form, but they are not tried

:02:39.:02:43.

and tested winners of major events. One of the players still left in the

:02:44.:02:47.

event, even though he may not be in the best form of his life, is a

:02:48.:02:51.

tried and tested winner and Thai got to beat the master in his backyard.

:02:52.:02:55.

Thank you very much for that, Steve. Hazel, all yours.

:02:56.:02:58.

The view looks good. By the way, you are in the form of your life today,

:02:59.:03:03.

Mr Davis, I must say! We've got Joe and we have got his

:03:04.:03:08.

best friend in the semi-final this evening. I think crowd loyalties

:03:09.:03:13.

will be rather split between these two Englishmen this evening. You can

:03:14.:03:17.

bet there are an awful lot of Ronnie fans in this afternoon that's for

:03:18.:03:22.

sure, they know the rocket is on a trajectory that could land him an

:03:23.:03:26.

outright record seventh Masters title. He owns the record at sixth

:03:27.:03:33.

with a certain Stephen Hendry. This is the snooker where he's been at

:03:34.:03:42.

his best. He was 19 in 1995. Ronnie is our defending champion

:03:43.:03:46.

this year of course. But he's also been runner-up five times as well.

:03:47.:03:50.

Today he's bidding for an extraordinary 12th final. The man

:03:51.:03:54.

who is aiming to knock him off course today is playing some of the

:03:55.:03:58.

best snooker of his career, Hong Kong's Marco Fu.

:03:59.:04:04.

I've been in semisin the Masters a couple of times in the past. It's

:04:05.:04:11.

nice to be able to do it again. I've played quite well since the UK

:04:12.:04:18.

Championships and have good form brought here with me. It's not going

:04:19.:04:22.

to be easy. It's nice to be able to play good snooker against the top

:04:23.:04:26.

eight. It's a great feeling that everything seems to be working

:04:27.:04:31.

together. I played Jimmy, Ronnie, in the past, in the Masters and

:04:32.:04:34.

everyone knows what the atmosphere will be like. He's under pressure as

:04:35.:04:39.

well from expectations from the crowd and I'm under pressure because

:04:40.:04:43.

I need to play the player and Mrs Play the crowd. We are under

:04:44.:04:47.

pressure. Doesn't get much bigger than that. I'm looking forward to

:04:48.:04:53.

hopefully a great match. Marco's won eight out of their 22 previous

:04:54.:04:57.

matches. It was only about five weeks ago that O'Sullivan and Fu

:04:58.:05:01.

faced each other in the semi-final of another of snooker's majors, the

:05:02.:05:06.

UK Championship in York. That went to a decider by the Englishman. The

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Hong Kong player has since embarked on a magnificent run, winning the

:05:13.:05:17.

Scottish Open and producing immaculate snooker here. He's the

:05:18.:05:21.

highest ranked player at number eight at Ali pale. This is worthy of

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a final itself. -- Ali Pally. Nice shirt, Denis, are

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you back on Strictly Come Dancing? ! Marco Fu is 39, playing the best

:05:35.:05:39.

snooker of his career. This is a magnificently big occasion today,

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will he cope with it? It is and this crowd have taken to the man from

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Hong Kong, especially the way he played against Judd Trump. That

:05:47.:05:50.

match was incredible. He made three century breaks and a string of other

:05:51.:05:53.

breaks. Judd played out of his skin and lost. He's got to produce that

:05:54.:05:58.

sort of form against Ronnie if he's going to have a chance. The thing

:05:59.:06:05.

with him is his demeanour's changed. His walking around with his chest

:06:06.:06:08.

back and looking confident in his own ability? He's working with Terry

:06:09.:06:13.

Griffith's son Wayne who's moved out to Hong Kong, they work together,

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and that's a big help to him. Always been a really nice lad but he isn't

:06:18.:06:20.

half producing some fabulous snooker. He'll have to do it against

:06:21.:06:26.

Ronnie O'Sullivan. Jealous, Stephen? Of playing here, absolutely! It will

:06:27.:06:31.

be interesting. If you go on form, Marco is favourite. But Ronnie's got

:06:32.:06:37.

previous in this tournament. What I've been impressed with with Ronnie

:06:38.:06:42.

is his will to win. He's not been at his best but every match he's trying

:06:43.:06:48.

his hardest. We talk about scoring, Ronnie's highest break was still

:06:49.:06:51.

only 68 so that's got to improve? Absolutely. We know he can turn it

:06:52.:06:56.

on at any stage. What better stage today to do it. OK boys, interesting

:06:57.:07:01.

to hear from you this afternoon. Rob Walker let's get it under way.

:07:02.:07:08.

Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen, welcome to Saturday's

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Snooker Masters, what an occasion and atmosphere here in this famous

:07:14.:07:18.

old arena. We are ready to rock'n'roll this afternoon Al

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Alexandra Palace. APPLAUSE.

:07:22.:07:23.

CHEERING AND APPLAUSE. Please welcome a player who, after

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19 years as a pro is producing the best snooker of his career so far,

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beating Higgins last month to land the Scottish Open and this week he's

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beaten both Trump and Allen to earn a second Masters semi-final, will

:07:51.:07:53.

the magic come forth once again from the man from Hong Kong, Marco Fu!

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And his opponent, who first won this title in 1995. For more than two

:08:18.:08:34.

decades, he's been snooker's box office draw, six times a Masters

:08:35.:08:39.

champion, five times a champion of the world, the Rocket, Ronnie

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O'Sullivan! Marco Fu runner-up in the Masters

:08:42.:09:17.

event six years ago. Can he win? Can he earn his passport through to

:09:18.:09:20.

another final? He's going to have to cope with Ronnie and a partisan

:09:21.:09:25.

crowd today. This is Ronnie's 13th Masters final, only ever lost one

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before. Best of 11. To sort it all out, Stephen and Denis, we are

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waiting for you. Good afternoon! APPLAUSE.

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REFEREE: First frame, Ronnie O'Sullivan to break.

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Good afternoon to everyone watching. What a fabulous atmosphere and what

:09:50.:09:53.

a thrill it must be for both players to walk into the arena to that

:09:54.:10:00.

reception. It really was special. Can Marco start the match with a

:10:01.:10:02.

long pot? A couple of loose reds. And he is on

:10:03.:10:22.

a colour so an early chance. Can he continue playing in the form he

:10:23.:10:25.

showed us throughout the week, Stephen? Since the UK Championship

:10:26.:10:34.

when he was a green or brown with the rest away from beating Ronnie in

:10:35.:10:42.

the semi-final of that event, since then he's Been making a couple of

:10:43.:10:51.

tweaks. Slightly longer back swing than normal. He's starting to look

:10:52.:10:56.

the real deal when it comes to these big events, Denis? He's always been

:10:57.:11:00.

a fantastic player, everyone in snooker knows that, but he'd go

:11:01.:11:06.

maybe one or two months then disappear. If he keeps playing like

:11:07.:11:11.

this, he'll be competing at every big event. Nice, aggressive shot.

:11:12.:11:18.

Might just be OK, you know. Caught the pink half bull instead of pull

:11:19.:11:25.

bank but the red will go. I think the white might cannon into the pink

:11:26.:11:34.

here which wouldn't be a bad thing. This is much more difficult the one

:11:35.:11:36.

he's taking to stay on the black. I thought he might have taken the

:11:37.:11:49.

other one which was a slightly easier pot. Yes. This was a very

:11:50.:12:00.

aggressive red to take. Maybe that is his plan, take the game to

:12:01.:12:02.

Ronnie. APPLAUSE.

:12:03.:12:24.

Very good shot. The fact he's covered the red near the right

:12:25.:12:29.

corner and he had the yellow and blue to use as snookering balls.

:12:30.:12:37.

Played it well. Marco returned the compliment? No, he's playing dead

:12:38.:12:43.

weight. He's still covered that red near the pocket.

:12:44.:13:08.

APPLAUSE. Nicely picked out there. A bit of

:13:09.:13:15.

pressure on the next pot. Certainly opened the reds up. If

:13:16.:13:21.

this blue goes in, great chance. A bit of pressure on that early on

:13:22.:13:34.

in the match. Still expected Ronnie to knock that

:13:35.:13:42.

in, but it is the opening frame. This is a nice opportunity now for

:13:43.:14:25.

Marco Fu. Maybe taken just a few moments just to calm down. Such a

:14:26.:14:29.

massive entrance for both players in the semi-final. Plays at his own

:14:30.:14:33.

pace. Marco turned professional in 1997

:14:34.:14:52.

and based himself in Scotland. It's no longer there now in

:14:53.:15:18.

sterling. Used to have some professionals there. He's always

:15:19.:15:26.

been a big solo practiser. Doesn't practise a lot with others. Used to

:15:27.:15:28.

have the odd game. He'd never miss. In Canada, he was best out there for

:15:29.:15:40.

a while. He wants the black available to both

:15:41.:16:08.

corner pockets. Nice angle. The red directly above the black. You want

:16:09.:16:14.

to cannon that and play at a decent pace. There is a chance he could

:16:15.:16:25.

snooker himself. That is why he played it a bit harder.

:16:26.:16:53.

I've just got a feeling today that it will be a high-scoring match. So

:16:54.:17:01.

chances like this, taking them at your first opportunity, are going to

:17:02.:17:03.

be very important. O'Sullivan hasn't been in his best

:17:04.:17:19.

scoring form this week. You get the feeling it's going to come out

:17:20.:17:21.

sooner or later. I think it will have to today Denis

:17:22.:17:30.

for him to beat Marco. Absolutely. The fact he missed that medium

:17:31.:17:37.

length blue... Is an early worrying sign. Mar coast's going to take full

:17:38.:17:46.

advantage. He's had two chances in this frame. -- Marco.

:17:47.:17:54.

Hadronny knocked the long blue in - this is the blue - had he potted

:17:55.:18:00.

that, I'm sure he will have made a sizeable break. Normally, we are

:18:01.:18:11.

used to seeing O'Sullivan start so quickly.

:18:12.:18:22.

So the black is the first frame. Century in the first frame.

:18:23.:18:38.

He's on 31 centuries so far this season.

:18:39.:19:29.

We've had 20 centuries so far in this year's Masters. The

:19:30.:19:45.

We've had 20 centuries so far in this year's Masters. If you want to

:19:46.:19:50.

get a crowd on your side, I'll tell you what, this is the way to do it.

:19:51.:19:56.

Oh, he's missed it! He's missed it. Unlucky. Almost.

:19:57.:20:07.

APPLAUSE. Ronnie missed that blue and that was

:20:08.:20:12.

the end of the frame. Marco Fu leads 1-0.

:20:13.:20:17.

This heavy scoring has been the hallmark of mar coast' game of late.

:20:18.:20:22.

I was totting it up, since the start of the Championship he's knocked in

:20:23.:20:25.

21 centuries in 17 matches on his way to winning the Scottish Open and

:20:26.:20:29.

he was on track there for a fifth century of the week. It's

:20:30.:20:32.

extraordinary the way he just is not missing a great deal at the moment.

:20:33.:20:36.

He's always been an excellent scorer as you saw there as well, but

:20:37.:20:39.

there's just something different about him. He has just Blossomed

:20:40.:20:45.

into a top, top class player ready to win majors. To beat John Higgins

:20:46.:20:50.

in his own backyard in Scotland is hugely impressive and he looks like

:20:51.:20:54.

he's full of confidence. When he's amongst the balls, he's looking like

:20:55.:20:57.

clearing up. You can't put a price on confidence. So many players down

:20:58.:21:01.

the years have been confidence players, John Higgins on a run is

:21:02.:21:05.

like that, there is no stopping him? Also your opponent knows you feel

:21:06.:21:08.

confidence as well, the reality check, who is the Ronnie O'Sullivan

:21:09.:21:12.

out there because all of a sudden Marco is getting on with it very

:21:13.:21:16.

quickly. When you are confident, you spend so little time thinking about

:21:17.:21:19.

the shot, you seem to be able to focus better on what shots to play.

:21:20.:21:23.

You are not double thinking yourself and that seems to grow confidence as

:21:24.:21:26.

well. It also puts more pressure on your

:21:27.:21:30.

opponent. The likes of the blue Ronnie missed, that will get

:21:31.:21:34.

magnified if Marco keeps making clearances. Back we go.

:21:35.:21:44.

A bit short of pace with the break off shot.

:21:45.:21:50.

Marco knocked a similar red in, slightly easier. Can Ronnie avoid

:21:51.:21:58.

the black? He's not taking the pot on. It's a safety shot. Don't blame

:21:59.:22:00.

him. He's one of the best tactical

:22:01.:22:14.

players in the game. That's certainly opened the reds up.

:22:15.:22:31.

Look at the length of the cue ball. Seem to open up nicely on the cloth.

:22:32.:22:46.

Playing beautifully all week. Incredible. So confident at the

:22:47.:23:26.

moment. There was no looking at the shot.

:23:27.:23:40.

Well, there is an example. Marco Fu was never blessed, whenever that was

:23:41.:23:49.

a power shot, that was his weakness. He's bringing the cue back a lot

:23:50.:23:54.

further than he used to. The power he got on that cue ball was

:23:55.:23:57.

phenomenal. If he dropped this red in, he could

:23:58.:24:14.

get the black back on to its spot. Clash The black is still going to be

:24:15.:24:18.

tied up because it's blocked into both corners.

:24:19.:24:43.

Might have finished awkward for him. He's hampered slightly with the

:24:44.:24:48.

black to force it up for the blue. Better to get up to the blue if he

:24:49.:24:54.

can. Maybe the black goes into the left

:24:55.:25:09.

corner because he was thinking about swerving around the black there,

:25:10.:25:10.

maybe it does pass that red. He had to power to get to the blue

:25:11.:25:37.

and the white. Jumped a few times which happens when you are striking

:25:38.:25:38.

down on the cue ball like that. APPLAUSE.

:25:39.:26:10.

Well, you can't beat a nice flick. Certainly got one there.

:26:11.:26:15.

Can make such a difference that. It was a good shot anyway. But to catch

:26:16.:26:23.

the yellow was a bonus. Caught the red before the pink. A

:26:24.:26:49.

little bit surprised. He went into those dead weight. Couldn't have

:26:50.:26:52.

left much. So he took a bit of a risk there, Marco Fu.

:26:53.:27:08.

APPLAUSE. That kept on rolling and rolling.

:27:09.:27:38.

APPLAUSE. He's got a decent chance.

:27:39.:28:27.

What an atmosphere, Denis. Here Al the Alexandra Palace, it's

:28:28.:28:40.

absolutely packed. The crowds have been fabulous all

:28:41.:28:41.

week. They are enjoying this. How many will Ronnie make here?

:28:42.:29:07.

Looks like a practise set up now, doesn't it. Virtually nothing to do

:29:08.:29:13.

with the cue ball. You shouldn't see the cue ball travel very far at all

:29:14.:29:20.

in-between shots. I think he's travelled a bit too far that time.

:29:21.:29:25.

Change of plan, it's the blue or pink now.

:29:26.:29:30.

Correct side of the blue. APPLAUSE.

:29:31.:29:38.

I mean once again he travelled too far. He played two or three little

:29:39.:30:13.

positional shots which is very unlike O'Sullivan and you can see

:30:14.:30:17.

the frustration. Normally, the cue ball is on a sting when he's around

:30:18.:30:21.

about the black. A couple of shots ago he had to go for the blue and

:30:22.:30:34.

there he missed a cannon. He won't play the shot like that. It will be

:30:35.:30:38.

a foul. You have got to have one toe on the floor. He gave that cushion a

:30:39.:30:47.

good old rap there. I remember was it Michael Holt did that and did he

:30:48.:31:00.

break his finger? He

:31:01.:31:00.

has got to be so careful going between those two reds. He is going

:31:01.:31:12.

to have to play the safety shot. He wanted really to push the boat out

:31:13.:31:16.

there. He was so frustrated with that positional shot. I think he has

:31:17.:31:24.

calmed down and he'll play the correct shot. Still fuming. And this

:31:25.:31:36.

is where he has been impressive in his first two matches, Dennis. I

:31:37.:31:41.

know he is fuming with that shot. His temperament has been excellent

:31:42.:31:48.

this week. Ronnie O'Sullivan 41.

:31:49.:31:52.

APPLAUSE It was as if he wanted to bite the

:31:53.:31:55.

tip-off there. I know that was got a gim heed that

:31:56.:32:11.

long putt from Marco Fu, it was a chance to really rub salt in the

:32:12.:32:16.

wound if he could get in and win this frame at that visit.

:32:17.:32:29.

I think he can get past the blue, you know, to the red to come back

:32:30.:32:57.

down the table. He's going the other side which is a little bit more

:32:58.:33:09.

risky. There is two reds to avoid. He might drop in behind the green.

:33:10.:33:18.

He was playing for the cushion. APPLAUSE

:33:19.:33:21.

It is not a snooker. He can see the one to the left, but if he takes

:33:22.:33:25.

this pot on and he'll have to do because there is no easy safety

:33:26.:33:28.

shot. We have seen him miss a blue in the opening frame which cost him

:33:29.:33:32.

that first frame. Can he knock this one in?

:33:33.:33:43.

No. I'll tell you what, Stephen said if Marco Fu can punish Ronnie, he'll

:33:44.:33:53.

still be thinking about that poor positional shot he played when it

:33:54.:33:56.

looked like he was going to make quite a big break. This wasn't easy.

:33:57.:34:16.

We're only in the second frail, but this is a massive visit to the table

:34:17.:34:20.

for Marco Fu. Such a psychological game, snooker,

:34:21.:34:42.

at the top level. You can put one on your opponent early on.

:34:43.:34:48.

This is where he just ran a little bit too far and was very annoyed

:34:49.:34:56.

with himself. Yeah, I think he was trying to play the cannon on the red

:34:57.:35:08.

to the right. Just cannon the red to the right there as the cue ball goes

:35:09.:35:11.

past it. Very unlike O'Sullivan. He needs the black back on its spot

:35:12.:35:44.

in a couple of shots time. The reason I say that is that red that's

:35:45.:35:49.

on the cushion, it will be a lot easier to get on to the black if it

:35:50.:35:55.

was sitting on its own spot. Yes, Dennis, it is so important not to

:35:56.:36:02.

leave that red until last. Because every chance if you don't get on it

:36:03.:36:06.

properly and then you would have to play safe. I would be playing for it

:36:07.:36:13.

now. Screw off the side cushion. Well, he is not done. He can play

:36:14.:36:22.

now this red he's playing now. Finish high on the black and play

:36:23.:36:35.

for the red on the cushion. It may have travelled too far. No. He's

:36:36.:36:45.

fine. So this is a shot for the frame, Dennis, you feel. Just has to

:36:46.:36:50.

drop it in dead weight and give the pocket a chance. We have seen a lot

:36:51.:37:00.

easier black than this. This is much tougher. So dead weight

:37:01.:37:06.

will give the pocket a chance and you've got the perfect picture

:37:07.:37:21.

there. No. No. Now that is quite a big turning point so early on in

:37:22.:37:27.

this match. Provided Ronnie goes on and takes the frame.

:37:28.:37:38.

Just a little awkward with the pink sitting on the yellow spot. So he

:37:39.:37:45.

might even play for the pink this time. A big opportunity missed

:37:46.:38:05.

though by Marco Fu. If you touch the cushion and you don't usually see

:38:06.:38:08.

any reaction from Marco, but he knew that was a big shot that he just

:38:09.:38:10.

missed there. Green, brown and blue will be

:38:11.:38:39.

enough. Yeah, what it has done by Marco missing that opportunity is

:38:40.:38:44.

given Ronnie O'Sullivan a chance to forget all about that frame because

:38:45.:38:49.

he has won it. If Marco wins it, then he still thinks about it.

:38:50.:39:15.

APPLAUSE Ronnie O'Sullivan just lost his cool

:39:16.:39:23.

momentarily and he got a chance and he took it.

:39:24.:39:27.

A A game of real tension already, you can really feel it, Steve. I

:39:28.:39:33.

don't mind Ronnie O'Sullivan showing anger. It shows he wants to win

:39:34.:39:38.

desperately and it was tense very early on. Both players making slight

:39:39.:39:43.

mistakes and the last mistake is always the one that costs you the

:39:44.:39:48.

frame and it was Marco's. Three bites at this. This is the mistake

:39:49.:39:54.

that Marco was stewing about. Stephen mentioned on commentary, the

:39:55.:40:00.

start of a match, those shots can be pivotal and it was one of those

:40:01.:40:02.

shots you could miss and unfortunately for Marco he has done.

:40:03.:40:08.

He had a long red in that frame, he nearly hit the wrong side of it.

:40:09.:40:13.

When Marco is scoring, he a long red and he nearly hit the wrong side of

:40:14.:40:18.

it and if he had gone 2-0 stewing in his chair, it might have made a

:40:19.:40:23.

difference. Ronnie has to live with the pressure of expectation all the

:40:24.:40:26.

time. Most of the time he is a favourite. Marco Fu doesn't have

:40:27.:40:29.

that on him until he wins the first frame and it looks like he can win

:40:30.:40:32.

the second and then he's under pressure. That's the fascination of

:40:33.:40:39.

the game of snooker. Ronnie said having beaten Neil Robertson, he

:40:40.:40:43.

said, "I have got to accept the fact that I'm not perhaps as clinical as

:40:44.:40:47.

I once was four or five years ago, but as a pierce competitor, that

:40:48.:40:54.

remains undimmed." It is difficult to square that your competitiveness

:40:55.:40:58.

is still as sharp and you know your form won't reach those great heights

:40:59.:41:03.

again? Especially if the thing that inspires you is playing wonderful

:41:04.:41:07.

snooker and that's the thing that drives you forward because the

:41:08.:41:10.

frustration of not playing to the levels that you think you want to be

:41:11.:41:13.

can be debilitating, but that's probably as you get older that's

:41:14.:41:17.

what you have got to suffer. There is one incident Stephen is talking

:41:18.:41:20.

about Ronnie's cue ball control when he had the three reds on. He could

:41:21.:41:25.

have played two or three shots and he was annoyed. Yes. He is coming

:41:26.:41:34.

back in. There is Marco's wife and little Belle. That might be the

:41:35.:41:39.

youngest of the Fu family with them. But they're here. They're always

:41:40.:41:42.

there supporting their man and Ronnie is back into the arena as we

:41:43.:41:51.

head into frame three. Thank you, frame three. Ronnie

:41:52.:41:52.

O'Sullivan. It has been a fascinating start to

:41:53.:42:26.

this semifinal. Oh, what was that Marco?

:42:27.:42:37.

A long way short. Well, maybe he can see enough of that red that's just

:42:38.:42:42.

to the right of the black to cut it in. The other red is preventing

:42:43.:42:46.

that. The red the left-side of the table

:42:47.:43:09.

is a little awkward for the safety shot. You have got to make sure you

:43:10.:43:14.

don't cannon into this. He may attempt that to get on to the black

:43:15.:43:20.

as a shot to nothing. No. Just the straightforward up and down safety

:43:21.:43:21.

shot. APPLAUSE

:43:22.:43:50.

An opportunity to drop this red in for the black.

:43:51.:44:08.

That's Marco's daughter there. Isn't she beautiful?

:44:09.:44:21.

That's your daddy out there playing. She has just seen herself on the

:44:22.:44:27.

screen. Yes! Yes, Marco smiling up at his family,

:44:28.:45:38.

but he has got to get his mind on the job. A semifinal of the Masters,

:45:39.:45:50.

1-1 against Ronnie O'Sullivan. APPLAUSE

:45:51.:45:57.

A little bit of a stalemate now that red has gone up the other end of the

:45:58.:46:05.

table. Not a lot for Ronnie to play. Only just roll into the reds and we

:46:06.:46:09.

might possibly get a re-rack. Well, what has he spotted here?

:46:10.:46:32.

Just a gap to get it back to the cushion and played it well.

:46:33.:46:37.

APPLAUSE It will just take a few shots to

:46:38.:47:19.

resolve this situation. Yes, as long as the cue ball keeps

:47:20.:47:37.

going up close to the cushion, there is not a lot you can do. If the cue

:47:38.:47:44.

ball is away from the cushion you bring the reds back, but even that

:47:45.:47:48.

shot you're sometimes frightened of knocking a red over one of the

:47:49.:47:52.

middle pockets. It could be a while here.

:47:53.:48:06.

It will never catch on this kind of snooker, will it Dennis? It wasn't

:48:07.:48:16.

your type of frame this. Sometimes they run like that and you get the

:48:17.:48:23.

balls up the other end of the table. But what does happen when a player

:48:24.:48:28.

gets in, there is going to be plenty of reds there to score from. Now

:48:29.:48:39.

that one to the left middle is quite a risky one, but he has had a quick

:48:40.:48:49.

look at it and he has decided definitely against taking it on, but

:48:50.:48:55.

that's a bit careless. He has made a complete hash of the safety there.

:48:56.:49:00.

OK, a little bit unlucky. You never know where the reds are going to

:49:01.:49:04.

finish, but he didn't get the white where he wanted and now the chance

:49:05.:49:06.

is there for Marco. Marco Fu has just put himself in a

:49:07.:49:26.

bit of trouble here. Do you know he might have to play a

:49:27.:49:48.

safety shot and go up to the black with the cue ball. A golden chance

:49:49.:49:53.

he let slip there. APPLAUSE

:49:54.:50:29.

That's what I was saying earlier, when you're bringing the cue ball

:50:30.:50:37.

back to the cushion, there is always a chance of potting them in the

:50:38.:50:40.

mid--le pockets. Again, no guarantee where the cue ball is going to end

:50:41.:50:48.

up. Just make sure they pot. Now, he'll settle for that.

:50:49.:51:03.

Dle pockets. Again, no guarantee where the cue ball is going to end

:51:04.:51:07.

up. Just make sure they pot. Now, he'll settle for that. It is not a

:51:08.:51:12.

gimme this blue, but get this in and an opportunity.

:51:13.:51:21.

He didn't cue that as smoothly as he did in the first frame. He didn't

:51:22.:51:29.

get correctly on the red that's why he's having to play this around the

:51:30.:51:31.

angles. Just overscrewed it slightly. You

:51:32.:52:22.

want it to be straighter on this brown. It shouldn't be a problem.

:52:23.:52:34.

He's going to have to pot an awful lot of balls here to get a sizeable

:52:35.:52:44.

number of points because they're all low valued colours.

:52:45.:53:18.

He has had a look just to see what's available there and he's way ahead

:53:19.:53:25.

of himself and he feels that maybe he can drop the blue and he's back

:53:26.:53:30.

looking at that red to the right of the pink and it looks as if it's on.

:53:31.:53:45.

That just shows you how far ahead the player is thinking. It is

:53:46.:53:52.

usually a couple of shots. Very rarely rumour than three shots ahead

:53:53.:53:56.

of yourself. Four shots. You're just playing the cue ball into an area

:53:57.:54:00.

each time, but you weigh up the table and you know that it's going

:54:01.:54:04.

to be there and he had looked at this red about three shots ago.

:54:05.:54:21.

Didn't get into the cue ball like he wanted. It will be much straighter.

:54:22.:54:36.

This is now awkward. If he's playing a cannon on the red above the blue,

:54:37.:54:41.

it will go wrong. No he has natural angle. So a little bit fortunate

:54:42.:54:46.

there to leave that natural angle. Well, they seem to be all covering

:54:47.:55:15.

each other the four reds around the pink. He potted seven reds, but he

:55:16.:55:21.

has only accumulated 34 points because he had to take lower valued

:55:22.:55:23.

colours. It must be a plant. Just going

:55:24.:55:46.

slightly to the left-side of the pocket, but he can make that.

:55:47.:56:00.

APPLAUSE I think it's important for Marco to,

:56:01.:56:18.

win this frame just to forget that red that he missed along the cushion

:56:19.:56:23.

that would have given him a 2-0 lead, but he has been blessed with a

:56:24.:56:26.

terrific temperament also. It was a little bit of an awkward

:56:27.:56:46.

frame at the start with the reds going up the other end of the table.

:56:47.:56:54.

And in the end, Ronnie getting back to the black. Well, he did do, but

:56:55.:56:58.

he left one in the middle. That's the frame now.

:56:59.:57:20.

The best of 11. The interval still after four frames.

:57:21.:57:32.

Daddy is clearing up. That's his wife Shirley that's there

:57:33.:57:49.

and their daughter. Almost made a century in the opening

:57:50.:57:53.

frame. He has got another chance here.

:57:54.:58:25.

I just noticed that Ronnie is looking at the tup of his cue there.

:58:26.:58:34.

I know he made a gesture as if he was going to bite the tip-off, but I

:58:35.:58:45.

think that was a bit of frustration. So normal play resumes you would

:58:46.:58:49.

have to say from Marco Fu. This is great stuff. Off, but I think that

:58:50.:58:58.

was a bit of frustration. So normal play resumes you would have to say

:58:59.:59:01.

from Marco Fu. This is great stuff. Yes, he is looking very composed

:59:02.:59:02.

again. APPLAUSE

:59:03.:59:19.

Absolutely terrific stuff from the man from Hong Kong.

:59:20.:59:29.

Marco leads by 2-1. Ronnie has left the arena. I'm just

:59:30.:59:35.

wondering if there is a problem with the tip.

:59:36.:59:40.

Ronnie's tip of the cue has indeed split and there is now talk about

:59:41.:59:47.

having to replace it. Paul Collier is on stand-by to do so. There was

:59:48.:59:52.

talk about trying to take the interval early, but we're not sure

:59:53.:59:56.

if that's going to happen. This is unfortunate from his prospective.

:59:57.:00:00.

Marco is leaving the arena and he has been told. You get a period of

:00:01.:00:05.

grace, how long, 15 minutes? I'm not sure. But it is a reasonable amount

:00:06.:00:11.

of time to put another tip on and repair it and have a couple of hits

:00:12.:00:15.

on the practise table, but the discussion seems to be around

:00:16.:00:19.

whether the interval is taken now from the crowd's prospective or you

:00:20.:00:24.

have one stop after three frames and then another stop after another

:00:25.:00:27.

frame. I don't know what's going to happen. Rob Walker is making an

:00:28.:00:38.

announcement and it looks like we are taking the break now. Has he

:00:39.:00:45.

brought an old tip with him? What's the implication?

:00:46.:00:49.

It's massive. It's difficult to play screw and stun shots with it. If you

:00:50.:00:55.

have one that's already been played on, taken off a cue and put on the

:00:56.:00:59.

end, it's basically like what you have taken off. That's the problem

:01:00.:01:03.

he's got with it. Hopefully he's been a bit experienced enough to get

:01:04.:01:08.

a few from the club and he'll be able to put one on. We are going to

:01:09.:01:16.

take the interval a frame early. And John, you've discussed this, we saw

:01:17.:01:21.

him slightly uneasy with his cue and you chatted with him? He said the

:01:22.:01:25.

tip was hard. He said he's not happy with it. It can happen. I've had

:01:26.:01:30.

tips on cues, you have played with them for ages and they haven't gone

:01:31.:01:33.

hard. Sometimes you don't know what you are going to get. This was a

:01:34.:01:37.

situation with Mark Williams at the Crucible last year. He got to the

:01:38.:01:43.

quarter-final and it was looking for all world like he was going to do

:01:44.:01:48.

some damage and the night before he played, the tip came off and he

:01:49.:01:52.

wasn't the same player, it had such a fundamental impact. For anybody

:01:53.:01:57.

that doesn't know, a tip is a piece of leather stuck on the end of cue

:01:58.:02:01.

and with the chalk it gives the grip to the ball, otherwise it would slip

:02:02.:02:07.

off. Leather seems to be the perfect thing, they've never invented

:02:08.:02:10.

anything better. It's possible that the sides are vulnerable to

:02:11.:02:14.

splitting, if you play a shot with a side spin, you are hitting the edge

:02:15.:02:18.

of the tip, they are put under severe pressure. So a lot of the

:02:19.:02:22.

American pool players are for ever polishing the sides of the tip to

:02:23.:02:25.

strengthen them up as much as possible. Most of the snooker

:02:26.:02:29.

players play with a brand of tip that's not so easy to buff up to

:02:30.:02:44.

such levels sostrengthen it up so they are always vulnerable. How does

:02:45.:02:47.

it impact your performance if you were to continue to play with it in

:02:48.:02:51.

that state? Possibly it doesn't but it's in the mind. I've played

:02:52.:02:56.

matches where I've gotten away with it, I've played where it's been near

:02:57.:03:10.

the end and certain shots haven't got any impact. I was taught a

:03:11.:03:17.

lesson when I had a broken tip here. Sometimes a small chunk will come

:03:18.:03:21.

out and it's the part where you will contact the tip when playing screw

:03:22.:03:25.

backs, so what you can do, if you are clump enough, you can take the

:03:26.:03:30.

tip off, turn it 180 degrees and put it back on again. But it's tough

:03:31.:03:36.

because the tip is the same size. Putting a new tip on, you are

:03:37.:03:40.

playing with an unknown quantity. You are fiendish, Mr Davis,

:03:41.:03:44.

fiendish! Ronnie has admitted he's ridden his luck here in the Masters

:03:45.:03:48.

so far because obviously survived that twitchy black in the pen

:03:49.:03:55.

ultimate frame. He had three massive slices of luck, flukes against Neil

:03:56.:04:00.

Robertson, came through that and, as he says, he's ridden his luck but

:04:01.:04:05.

he's such a fierce competitor. He joked about dragging everyone down

:04:06.:04:07.

to his level. That's hard to believe. But he's still punching and

:04:08.:04:16.

fighting and he's he'd a lot more to say to John Parrot earlier. You seem

:04:17.:04:20.

a lot more level headed about your own level of performances at the

:04:21.:04:24.

moment. It's easy for you to accept isn't it? Yes, I've worked hard on

:04:25.:04:31.

that in the last five years, if there was a weakness it was the

:04:32.:04:34.

mental side. I'm tough, I got down on myself a lot though and that's

:04:35.:04:38.

cost me a lot of tournaments over the years. Since working with Steve

:04:39.:04:43.

Peters, I've had to work on that and that's probably the most important

:04:44.:04:46.

thing for me to work on, the game when it comes easy to me is easy but

:04:47.:04:50.

I struggle like everyone else. You have to put the work in. Working on

:04:51.:04:55.

my mental skills has been the massive turnaround in why I've

:04:56.:04:58.

played so well in the last five years. You seem to have surrounded

:04:59.:05:06.

yourself with good people. I've had a few undesirables there, you know,

:05:07.:05:11.

but that's made me appreciate the really good friends that I've got

:05:12.:05:15.

and I used to think that I had loads of friends but maybe I think now I

:05:16.:05:19.

have about four. They're four proper, proper friends, I don't

:05:20.:05:23.

really want any more. I used to have a dressing room full in the Crucible

:05:24.:05:27.

because I wanted to please everybody but now I think, you know what, it

:05:28.:05:32.

ain't happening. So I feel better for it. It's nice that you can enjoy

:05:33.:05:37.

each other's company a bit more when it's intimate. I'm lucky. Are you

:05:38.:05:42.

happy in your home life as well reflecting in the way you are

:05:43.:05:45.

playing? I don't know, listen, I've just gotten so used to my life being

:05:46.:05:52.

all over the gaff since maybe 17, 18. I now just kind of, as long as

:05:53.:05:58.

I've got my cue, a shirt on my back and a bit of money on my debit card,

:05:59.:06:03.

I'm all right. I'm back at my mums, I have an empty flat up the road,

:06:04.:06:08.

there is all sorts of stuff the last ten years, but do you know what,

:06:09.:06:14.

it's made me realise that I don't get attached to things now, I

:06:15.:06:20.

just... It's sad in a way because I really should feel like I've got

:06:21.:06:23.

something to play or live for but I just don't, I think as long as I've

:06:24.:06:28.

got my cue, play snooker, go here and there, I'm a bit of a vagabond

:06:29.:06:33.

really. Happy with your lot though? As long as I'm healthy, go to the

:06:34.:06:38.

gym, keep fit, eat good food. I'm sure as long as I stay on the right

:06:39.:06:42.

path, someone will always take care of me and look after me until the

:06:43.:06:46.

day I drop dead. I hope that's not any time soon.

:06:47.:06:52.

It's the rocket, Ronnie O'Sullivan. This tournament going back to the

:06:53.:06:55.

Masters, must be a very special event with you being a local boy as

:06:56.:06:58.

well? Yes, it's a tough event. If you are playing well and you have

:06:59.:07:04.

the crowd behind you, it's amazing to feed off of them. You feel like

:07:05.:07:10.

you are letting them down if you don't win. They know I give my best

:07:11.:07:16.

and try my best. I'm appreciative of all the support I get, but

:07:17.:07:20.

especially here in London, they get behind you. You know what it was

:07:21.:07:23.

like for Jimmy when he was playing in his day. Yes. It's not easy to

:07:24.:07:27.

have that following and try to deliver every time. The big event,

:07:28.:07:31.

we talk about the Grand Slam, are you bothered more about your record

:07:32.:07:35.

now or not? You would still like to win, but you are not saying, I would

:07:36.:07:40.

like to have seven or eight? No, no, I would like to take any tournament

:07:41.:07:44.

to be honest but the big ones, you know, the UK, the world and Masters,

:07:45.:07:50.

they are like everybody wants their hands on those. I don't think I'm at

:07:51.:07:56.

the stage where I could be picky and choosy and put all the eggs in one

:07:57.:08:01.

basket. There are a few who could do that now in their prime but for me

:08:02.:08:06.

it's about competing. I love the events, being around the snooker

:08:07.:08:09.

crowd and the snooker family, if you like. In some ways, it's been

:08:10.:08:13.

disappointing because I like to do some stuff with the pun didry and I

:08:14.:08:16.

love hanging around the venue. I love to have something to do at the

:08:17.:08:20.

venue, so I haven't been able to do that this week so I'm trying to

:08:21.:08:25.

enjoy every day and appreciate that I'm still able to play a few

:08:26.:08:31.

matches. Final question - you can still win this can't you?

:08:32.:08:34.

Absolutely. I think my form would have to improve but I've won enough

:08:35.:08:39.

tournaments where my game's up at a certain stage, something can click

:08:40.:08:48.

and you can be flying, so I always have the game being fickle and why

:08:49.:08:51.

shouldn't I be able to find form. I've had a great week, it would be

:08:52.:08:58.

great if I could lift up a bit of that Waterford Tony Martin crystal.

:08:59.:09:03.

He's going to need his patience and everything to cope with this

:09:04.:09:14.

situation. -- Waterford Crystal. We have taken the international

:09:15.:09:19.

early so Ronnie can get his tip fixed.

:09:20.:09:24.

Another two Englishmen, two of snooker's hardy annuals if you like,

:09:25.:09:28.

two best friends actually going toe-to-toe. Barry Hawkins, last

:09:29.:09:34.

year's runner up, he's going to play 42-year-old Joe Perry who has been

:09:35.:09:39.

in the game for 26 years and has at last made it through the last four

:09:40.:09:43.

in this event. Maybe the writing is on the wall for Joe or on the page

:09:44.:09:45.

for him this year. The writing here shows a good

:09:46.:09:59.

rhythm, rhythm is about reasonable consistency without monotony and

:10:00.:10:02.

people who have rhythm are usually able to cope in a crisis so if this

:10:03.:10:07.

person is up and pushed into a corner, they are most times able to

:10:08.:10:10.

cope. It's very large writing. The top of the writing to the bottom is

:10:11.:10:16.

about 15mm and that is a sign of somebody who definitely needs

:10:17.:10:19.

recognition. The middle zone, which is about the here and now, the

:10:20.:10:29.

social side, is 5mm and averages close to 3mm so again, a positive

:10:30.:10:37.

personality. You have somebody generally optimistic, friendly,

:10:38.:10:40.

reasonably strong will power. The difficulty them is that they can

:10:41.:10:43.

sometimes downgrade the likelihood of risk and difficulty that they are

:10:44.:10:49.

facing, so they have to be careful not to throw themselves into the

:10:50.:10:54.

game trusting themselves too much without assessing genuine chance of

:10:55.:10:59.

success. When you have writing which is relatively released like this, as

:11:00.:11:03.

opposed to tight and contracted, it's somebody who is prepared to

:11:04.:11:07.

have a go, have a bit of a risk. So it's very important that the other

:11:08.:11:11.

aspect of his writing comes into play, which is the close letters. If

:11:12.:11:21.

you look at the red ah arrows, they're close to the point of even

:11:22.:11:25.

touching. When you have close writing, it's somebody who is

:11:26.:11:29.

worried about making a mistake and slightly pulling themselves back.

:11:30.:11:34.

Look at this huge signature. 75mm. Absolutely vast. When you have a

:11:35.:11:40.

very large signature in comparison to the text, it's somebody who

:11:41.:11:44.

really does enjoy public life. So that idea of performing on public

:11:45.:11:48.

television, they want to overshadow the competition, no doubt, but the

:11:49.:11:52.

issue with a large signature like this is that their identity depends

:11:53.:11:55.

on the approval of other people. So the problem could be that they might

:11:56.:12:00.

lose their self-possession if they're criticised strongly. But

:12:01.:12:05.

what I do like about this writing is these pyramid structures. Look at

:12:06.:12:09.

how the letters are formed. There is a nice angled structure which is a

:12:10.:12:13.

sign of stubbornness. Here is somebody with all these issues can

:12:14.:12:15.

come through and fight their corner. Fascinating stuff. I think he's

:12:16.:12:27.

probably got Joe to a fairly large degree there. Positive personality.

:12:28.:12:33.

Willing to have a go. Dislikes criticism. Worried about a few

:12:34.:12:39.

mistakes. Just like any of us. Covers snooker players in general.

:12:40.:12:42.

Joe has a big match against Barry tonight. What will be fascinating is

:12:43.:12:46.

that it could be a very big weekend for the Griffiths family. Father and

:12:47.:12:51.

son might be pitted against one another in tomorrow's final because

:12:52.:12:56.

Joe playing Barry who is coached by Terry Griffiths, a 1979 world

:12:57.:12:58.

champion of course and Terry's son Wayne is the man who's been

:12:59.:13:02.

responsible for a real leap in performance of Marco Fu. He works

:13:03.:13:13.

out in Hong Kong with him and what a difference he's made to this man's

:13:14.:13:17.

game. A coach can help a player to have

:13:18.:13:21.

the best preparation for a match. When you are out playing in a match,

:13:22.:13:25.

you are on your own. The best coach can't help you any more. But

:13:26.:13:28.

behind-the-scenes, before you go into a match, you go through all the

:13:29.:13:34.

practise routines and the checklists technically. The coach can actually

:13:35.:13:38.

spot some of the things that you do right or wrong. Very, very tiny

:13:39.:13:42.

things, but very, very important things.

:13:43.:13:48.

We are very fortunate to have Wayne working in Hong Kong for us. He's

:13:49.:13:52.

done a lot of good for my snooker over the years. Most importantly,

:13:53.:13:56.

he's done a lot for snooker in Hong Kong as well. Ever since he came to

:13:57.:14:01.

Hong Kong and started working with the squad, the results have improved

:14:02.:14:06.

dramatically. Wayne helped me to play with more consistency. It's

:14:07.:14:15.

paid off. I was aiming wrong. My tip was off line. The cue action helped

:14:16.:14:21.

a lot as well. With the cue action, I used to struggle to play with any

:14:22.:14:26.

power, now I'm not the most powerful player on the circuit but still I

:14:27.:14:33.

can play with a little bit more freedom and shot selection-wise, I

:14:34.:14:36.

can have a lot more choices with the cue action that I have.

:14:37.:14:42.

Well, Marco mentioned there in that interview a few technical changes

:14:43.:14:45.

with Wayne. The first one we'll talk about is the fact that he thought

:14:46.:14:49.

perhaps or Wayne spotted his tip and the butt of the cue weren't on the

:14:50.:14:54.

line. Let's take the baulk line, a guiding line, put the white on the

:14:55.:14:57.

brown spot and OK, what Marco Fu is saying that when he lines up on the

:14:58.:15:02.

shot, the tip of the cue may be in the middle as far as he's concerned

:15:03.:15:06.

but this exaggerated it. The butt of the cue is not on the line of the

:15:07.:15:10.

shot. So how on earth would you try then to hit along the baulk line if

:15:11.:15:14.

this was the case? You would have to try and hook the shot or slice it

:15:15.:15:20.

one way. So how do you try to actually troubleshoot this yourself

:15:21.:15:24.

if you don't have a coach? An easy way really is, you have the baulk

:15:25.:15:27.

line, put the white ball on the brown spot, put the tip of the cue

:15:28.:15:31.

in line with the shot in the centre of the white ball, drop the cue down

:15:32.:15:36.

to the edge of the cushion then put two pieces of chalk either side

:15:37.:15:41.

tight in of the cue. Now all of a sudden get up, go back down again,

:15:42.:15:45.

drop into the position and check whether that cue is dropping down

:15:46.:15:49.

between those two pieces of chalk. So you can self-check whether you

:15:50.:15:53.

are actually getting on exactly the right line or not. The next phase of

:15:54.:15:57.

that would also be when you actually play the shot, can you deliver the

:15:58.:16:00.

cue in a straight line without nudging one of the pieces of chalk.

:16:01.:16:04.

That was the first thing they've been working on. The other thing.

:16:05.:16:10.

It's a bit unclear from what Marco was saying, he's got a bit more

:16:11.:16:14.

power. There is a few things, I'm not absolutely sure which one he's

:16:15.:16:18.

working on, Stephen said he's pulling the cue back further for the

:16:19.:16:22.

shot. If you have a short pull back to generate the power you have to

:16:23.:16:26.

explode through the ball. If you give yourself more of a bridge

:16:27.:16:30.

length and pull the cue back further, even though it's more

:16:31.:16:32.

difficult to get back to the centre of the ball, you have more time to

:16:33.:16:36.

accelerate through the ball. I think that's probably what Marco Fu's been

:16:37.:16:40.

working on. Slightly longer bridge length for the power shots, pull the

:16:41.:16:44.

cue back a bit further so he's got more time to ram the cue through

:16:45.:16:46.

like that. Thank you Steve. Marco was always

:16:47.:16:55.

the classic precision cherry-picker wasn't he? Yes. It was always a

:16:56.:17:00.

criticism levelled at him albeit it was a brilliant, precise score, he

:17:01.:17:05.

wasn't perhaps in the power mode. Do you see a difference in the way he's

:17:06.:17:10.

approaching the game now? There is obviously slightly more shots I've

:17:11.:17:13.

seen him play. He's potted and skewed back to the baulk area. It's

:17:14.:17:17.

a massive thing not to have in your game. A lot of players don't have

:17:18.:17:23.

power and, in some ways, they have to change shot selection to get

:17:24.:17:26.

around it. To have all the shots in your armoury, what's better than

:17:27.:17:31.

that. He's talked about the increased feeling of freedom he has.

:17:32.:17:34.

If you have that, it increases so many options for you? They also

:17:35.:17:38.

don't have to avoid some of the shots, simple as that. You see

:17:39.:17:41.

something coming up and think, I fancy this one, you are not

:17:42.:17:44.

thinking, I can't play this because I don't have the power, now he has.

:17:45.:17:48.

He's more aggressive, getting more confidence and through that run, he

:17:49.:17:51.

said at the Scottish Open, I'm slowly developing a winning habit.

:17:52.:17:55.

For me, John, he's always been an immaculate man in his dress, his

:17:56.:18:01.

manners and demeanour, but the quality of his play, shoulders back,

:18:02.:18:04.

he really looks like he believes in himself. I think his demeanour is

:18:05.:18:09.

one of the things I've noticed about him. Neil Robertson walks around

:18:10.:18:15.

like a peacock, Marco is exactly that, shoulders back, given off an

:18:16.:18:18.

aura of, I'm very confident and I'll play well. Don't worry, the other

:18:19.:18:22.

players will be seeing that. Ronnie is up against it at the moment, not

:18:23.:18:25.

just at the table, but with the equipment here. We are hearing that

:18:26.:18:29.

Ronnie is having to apply a brand-new tip to the cue. Now, that

:18:30.:18:33.

is what you thought he should be desperately trying to avoid at this

:18:34.:18:38.

point? If he'd have had any old ones he wouldn't be putting a new one on.

:18:39.:18:43.

He obviously hasn't. If he's good enough to new tip on and play to a

:18:44.:18:47.

standard good enough to beat Marco Fu, he truly is a genius. As strong

:18:48.:18:53.

as that? It's incredibly difficult to play. Let me clarify by saying,

:18:54.:18:58.

if there's anybody that could do it it's possibly him, but 99% of the

:18:59.:19:03.

others wouldn't be able to. Would Marco view this as a positive? He's

:19:04.:19:08.

got to blank it, you don't want to think about that and put pressure on

:19:09.:19:13.

yourself thinking, I'm playing against somebody who shouldn't be

:19:14.:19:17.

potting all the balls and playing with a tip. Blank it out. There is

:19:18.:19:21.

one fascinating thing this week, the possibility that still exists that a

:19:22.:19:25.

new chapter is about to be written in snooker history because, if you

:19:26.:19:28.

look at the three majors in snooker, there they are, you have got the UK

:19:29.:19:32.

Championship, the Masters and, of course, the World Championship. The

:19:33.:19:36.

last time there was a changing of the guard in the outright wins

:19:37.:19:41.

column of a snooker major was 1999 when a certain Stephen Hendry won a

:19:42.:19:46.

seventh world title to overtake Steve Davis and Ray Reardon. While

:19:47.:19:51.

Ronnie shares the honours with Stephen at six, it could be that an

:19:52.:19:56.

18-year-old wait for a total revision of the rule books could be

:19:57.:19:59.

upon us. That is a milestone that we could be looking at. Very

:20:00.:20:02.

significant for the sport? Very much so. Probably might not be seen again

:20:03.:20:11.

in the history of the sport. You are talking about legends. For Ronnie to

:20:12.:20:15.

be do it, incredible. Stephen who is in commentary won't be happy with

:20:16.:20:19.

it. Nevertheless, an amazing achievement from Ronnie who's been

:20:20.:20:22.

one of the best players, if not the best player I've ever seen. Albeit,

:20:23.:20:27.

we talked about this last week, he has other things on his mind now,

:20:28.:20:30.

but the overall picture here from a man who has been chasing the targets

:20:31.:20:36.

all of his career, to be within touching distance of owning outright

:20:37.:20:39.

the overall record in a major tournament in your sport, that's

:20:40.:20:46.

pretty special? Yes. He will play it down and say it's one of those

:20:47.:20:49.

things, but in the cold light of day he'll be very proud of it. When we

:20:50.:20:53.

consider what is about to happen when they come back out here, they

:20:54.:20:57.

are going to have to play, it's best of 11 and Ronnie coming out with

:20:58.:21:00.

seeds of doubt potentially in the back of his mind. He has no idea.

:21:01.:21:05.

Will he perhaps have gone for a quick knockabout in the practise

:21:06.:21:08.

room? Hopefully once the tip is ready to go, he'll give it a few

:21:09.:21:12.

brushes of chalk and give it a go in the practise room. We can't begin to

:21:13.:21:16.

tell you how difficulties to come and play with a new tip. He's

:21:17.:21:21.

probably one of the few people who could do it. Not many could put a

:21:22.:21:28.

tip on. Joe Swayle maybe he's another one he used to play with a

:21:29.:21:34.

soft tip. But to play well with a new tip would be some achievement.

:21:35.:21:41.

Talked about the 16 majors that Stephen Hendry's won, or 18

:21:42.:21:48.

Stephen's won and 16 for Ronnie. As for Marco Fu's strike rate in

:21:49.:21:53.

majors, he's been a runner-up in the Masters and the UK, twice been a

:21:54.:21:57.

semi-finalist at the World Championship. Is this the time that

:21:58.:22:01.

he can break out and finally become one of the key figures in this

:22:02.:22:05.

sport? He has always been an absolute top class professional.

:22:06.:22:10.

Always has been. He's had the game, he's a cherry-picker, takes the odd

:22:11.:22:14.

reds off. Break-building is phenomenal. Only nine people have

:22:15.:22:18.

made over 400 centuries in the sport, he's one of them. He's just

:22:19.:22:24.

been lacking the final ingredient to make the cake exactly what it should

:22:25.:22:27.

have been. I think confidence is it and he's never played better snooker

:22:28.:22:37.

than he is now at 39. 22 centuries is great. Since the start of the

:22:38.:22:41.

Championships, it's an extraordinary strike rate over the last few weeks?

:22:42.:22:45.

Heaviest scoring as anybody in the game. Nobody would have got as many

:22:46.:22:51.

as that. Even people winning tournaments. Obviously working with

:22:52.:22:55.

Wayne is helping him. He's got a very sound technique. The biggest

:22:56.:23:00.

fact of the lot is the level of confidence he's got. What a

:23:01.:23:07.

fascinating extra dimension this is to the major semi-final at the

:23:08.:23:13.

Dafabet Masters, Ronnie Sullivan coming in, brand-new Tipton cue,

:23:14.:23:17.

show that going to react, how is he going to react to this situation.

:23:18.:23:20.

Marco is one up. That is the question, how will he

:23:21.:23:29.

react to that new tip? I'm with John Parrot, if anyone can do it, Ronnie

:23:30.:23:34.

O'Sullivan can. He seems to be able to just put a new tip on and play

:23:35.:23:38.

straightaway. Not the sort of thing a player would want but he's pretty

:23:39.:23:42.

good at doing it, Stephen? Yes. There's been advances in the way

:23:43.:23:48.

they make tips these days to sort of 15-20 years ago, it used to take me

:23:49.:23:52.

two, three, four days to knock a tip in. They're made a lot firmer. You

:23:53.:23:59.

can get grades of how hard the tip is. I had a tip on my cue last year

:24:00.:24:02.

and could play with it straightaway, it's the way they are made now. Not

:24:03.:24:11.

quite the drama I think everyone is making out, but still in the

:24:12.:24:14.

semi-final of a major event, not ideal.

:24:15.:24:44.

Not going to be hard enough. Come up a little bit short. Difficult to

:24:45.:24:51.

judge at the best of times. A bit of pressure on whoever put the

:24:52.:24:59.

tip on! He thought he could take the double

:25:00.:25:21.

on and wouldn't leave anything, only the red he was trying to double and

:25:22.:25:30.

he has left it. A bit of a tester, a long pot. Let's see if he can knock

:25:31.:25:34.

this in and give himself a bit of confidence with the new tip.

:25:35.:25:38.

APPLAUSE. Judging by the sound that made, that

:25:39.:25:55.

sounds a little bit on the softer side.

:25:56.:26:16.

Came up a little bit short but can still plan the Kay none. -- play the

:26:17.:26:22.

cannon. APPLAUSE.

:26:23.:26:30.

If he wasn't happy with the tip that was on it, now he finds a tip he is

:26:31.:26:35.

happy with, he could see a different Ronnie O'Sullivan. He could have a

:26:36.:26:40.

massive boost of confidence. Just about OK. He can hold the red

:26:41.:26:50.

to the right of the blue. Surely he can't make a frame-winning

:26:51.:27:57.

break with a new tip on his cue! You wouldn't put it past him.

:27:58.:28:36.

That got a terrible contact there. He's still on the black but not as

:28:37.:28:41.

nicely as he would have been without the kick. Just watch this.

:28:42.:28:56.

He certainly looks a lot happier around the table, Stephen? No doubt,

:28:57.:29:25.

more comfortable with the tip that he has now than the one that was on

:29:26.:29:27.

previously. They mentioned in the studio A his

:29:28.:29:38.

last match that it was very hard, the tip that was on his cue. The tip

:29:39.:29:44.

is a little softer, then it gives you more of a feel. That's why a

:29:45.:29:50.

couple of his positional shots have been going awry.

:29:51.:29:56.

APPLAUSE Quite remarkable, it has to be said.

:29:57.:30:37.

Run a little bit too far here on the red, but you wouldn't see it being a

:30:38.:30:45.

problem. He only made one century so far in this year's Masters.

:30:46.:30:59.

It's not going to be easy to make a century, certainly with the red on

:31:00.:31:04.

the left side cushion. And this frame has only been going

:31:05.:31:18.

just over seven minutes. Everything is going.

:31:19.:31:28.

APPLAUSE Well, I don't know if he can square

:31:29.:31:40.

this up and play the double. No double. No century. With a brand-new

:31:41.:31:48.

tip on his cue he has come in and knocked in a 95.

:31:49.:31:53.

You just couldn't make it up. How would you like humble pie served?

:31:54.:32:05.

The boy is a freak! He's a freak of nature. Nobody can do that. That

:32:06.:32:10.

would have flattened many a lesser player that situation and yet he

:32:11.:32:14.

seems to almost thrived upon it. More comfortable now than before.

:32:15.:32:19.

Mentally and psychologically, it has all gone wrong. Stop that. But if it

:32:20.:32:22.

was in a club and you put a new tip on, you can do that, but you

:32:23.:32:27.

wouldn't expect it on one of our match tables under the conditions

:32:28.:32:30.

which we play, but what, as John said, Ronnie O'Sullivan is a

:32:31.:32:34.

marvellous talent. He adapts very quickly. Within a few shots he got

:32:35.:32:38.

the feel of the tip, but as Stephen said in comment free, if that tip

:32:39.:32:43.

beforehand was too hard, they are in my opinion, a too hard tip is worse

:32:44.:32:49.

than a too soft a tip. He has got more grip. The two of you were

:32:50.:32:52.

saying just listen to the sound of it. What were you hearing? It is

:32:53.:32:59.

totally soft. He lost position on the black slightly with the kick and

:33:00.:33:04.

there was a little shot. They are impossible with a new tip on. He

:33:05.:33:09.

just floated it in. What happens with a new tip, it hasn't

:33:10.:33:13.

compressed. It is like a concertino and you need to bang it in with a

:33:14.:33:20.

few frames until it is compressed enough like he will do for the rest

:33:21.:33:24.

of its life span. Great adjustment by Ronnie O'Sullivan. Frame five. It

:33:25.:33:28.

is 2-2. That's a pretty good break off as

:33:29.:33:41.

well. Can't really take this pot on and

:33:42.:33:47.

play for the black. It is just the wrong angle for that. He might still

:33:48.:33:56.

have a go at it. He did manage to get around the back. Good cue ball.

:33:57.:34:09.

APPLAUSE There is the tools of the trade for

:34:10.:34:14.

a snooker player. I'm not sure about the lighter what he's going to do

:34:15.:34:18.

with that! Just maybe burn a few of the fibres

:34:19.:34:22.

off. He was polishing the side of the tip

:34:23.:34:26.

so thaw don't see it when you're looking down the cue.

:34:27.:35:01.

Well, it looks as if he's taking this on.

:35:02.:35:11.

He may have just held for the pink there so it was worth the risk. OK,

:35:12.:35:19.

the red is near the pocket, but look at the cueing. He won't be potting

:35:20.:35:23.

that one, you wouldn't think, but he has to remove it from the pocket. If

:35:24.:35:29.

he bridges overall these reds, and knocks this in, it will be some

:35:30.:35:31.

shot. A very tough situation there. He

:35:32.:36:09.

might just have gotten away with it slightly. He wanted to hit it

:36:10.:36:15.

full-ball when he hit the cushion. There is a long one. And he can get

:36:16.:36:18.

on the black. Still a chance for Marco to get back

:36:19.:37:08.

to work. Obviously he had that interval after the third frame which

:37:09.:37:12.

wasn't planned. He sat and watched Ronnie win the last frame on one

:37:13.:37:17.

visit so we will see if that's interrupted Marco's rhythm.

:37:18.:37:51.

This has developed into quite a good opportunity here for Marco.

:37:52.:38:02.

Just overscrewed it slightly. He wanted to be straight around that

:38:03.:38:12.

red. It is closest to the pink. So there is a change of plan.

:38:13.:38:27.

That's OK with the cue ball there because he has got very little to do

:38:28.:38:33.

with it. Just drops the blue in and he has a choice of reds for the

:38:34.:38:40.

listened corner. The left-hand corner.

:38:41.:39:07.

Well, I think you said at the start of the match Stephen, you will see

:39:08.:39:14.

quite a few high breaks here. I think your predictions will come

:39:15.:39:23.

through here. He had a 95 in the previous frame. So it's building up

:39:24.:39:27.

very nicely this semifinal. It could be a cracker.

:39:28.:39:58.

He may have to play the second red. The one that is to the left of the

:39:59.:40:05.

two. I don't know if he's straight enough on the bottom one to fall

:40:06.:40:06.

through for the black. From that angle it looks like it's

:40:07.:40:22.

OK. He has followed through. Again, a

:40:23.:40:30.

couple inches further. He's going to have to cannon that end red. The red

:40:31.:40:38.

furthest to the right of the bunch. Yes, perfectly played.

:40:39.:40:46.

APPLAUSE That was the key shot to paving the

:40:47.:40:52.

way for making a frame-winning break here.

:40:53.:41:29.

He has judged a couple of those shots, Stephen, those little

:41:30.:41:38.

cannons, he played them perfectly. A lovely touch. Very economical style.

:41:39.:41:45.

He is starting to look like a machine when he gets in amongst the

:41:46.:41:47.

balls. He's in line for the high break

:41:48.:42:37.

prize. He made a break of 140. He has had five centuries so far this

:42:38.:42:47.

week. Yes, I think he made 11 or 12 and winning the Scottish Open before

:42:48.:42:56.

Christmas. He is just turning into a scoring machine. It is the biggest

:42:57.:43:02.

attribute you can have as a top snooker player to win frames like

:43:03.:43:10.

this on one visit on a regular basis. And from a psychological

:43:11.:43:16.

point of view after watching Ronnie winning the last frame on the 95

:43:17.:43:23.

break with a new tip, this is just what the doctor ordered for Marco

:43:24.:43:27.

Fu. And also how quickly is he playing? I know it helps when you're

:43:28.:43:31.

in perfect position every shot. Brilliant.

:43:32.:43:35.

APPLAUSE Absolutely superb from Marco Fu.

:43:36.:43:42.

That's the 22nd century so far this week.

:43:43.:44:01.

You see, look at that. It's not often you see a quicker time than

:44:02.:44:11.

ron reportings but again down to the fact that he has the cue ball on a

:44:12.:44:19.

string. Well, it is not down to his coach, originally he was with Wayne

:44:20.:44:27.

Griffiths. Then he was with Terry Griffiths. He

:44:28.:44:32.

didn't get that shot selection from Terry. He could beat his own high

:44:33.:44:35.

break by one point. What an effort. 134.

:44:36.:45:03.

Made absolutely sure. Marco Fu has just cleared the table with a mag

:45:04.:45:09.

nift icant break of 141 and he is back in the lead, 3-2.

:45:10.:45:20.

What a frame of snook thremplt Ronnie got in first. He finished

:45:21.:45:23.

very, very awkward and had to bridge over a red and just try the safety

:45:24.:45:27.

shot and mis-hit the safety shot and that was it. Yes, as well as other

:45:28.:45:36.

things that Marco Fu has got going for him is his temperament, the

:45:37.:45:41.

circus that went before, finishing a frame early for the interval to do

:45:42.:45:46.

with Ronnie's tip, Ronnie comes out and makes a 95 and he just calmly

:45:47.:45:52.

gets down and knocks 141 in, in how long? Seven minutes, eight minutes?

:45:53.:46:01.

Yes, I said, it was just what the doctor ordered from Marco Fu and I'm

:46:02.:46:04.

talking about doctors, there is a doctor in the house! That's doctor

:46:05.:46:17.

Miriam Stoppard. She is a delightful lady. I spent sometime with her. She

:46:18.:46:23.

was a delight to be with. She has got a lovely smile. Thank you, frame

:46:24.:46:31.

six. Marco Fu to break. A quality opening red here from

:46:32.:47:23.

Ronnie O'Sullivan. He had to aim down slightly on the cue ball to

:47:24.:47:27.

create that angle to get around the back of the black.

:47:28.:47:38.

He will have enjoyed watching that break from Marco Fu and also he'll

:47:39.:47:44.

enjoy the challenge of trying to get the better of it.

:47:45.:47:56.

Maybe enjoy is the wrong word, appreciate, you don't enjoy sitting

:47:57.:48:03.

in your chair watching an opponent clear up. He will have appreciated

:48:04.:48:04.

the skill of it. The match with Judd Trump that Marco

:48:05.:48:33.

had was quite extraordinary, but this is building up to a similar

:48:34.:48:37.

type of match. Judd had two centuries. A few other really high

:48:38.:48:45.

breaks, but Marco was awesome. He had three centuries in that match.

:48:46.:48:50.

He already had two in this. But Ronnie looks a different player, it

:48:51.:48:58.

has to be said. He certainly feels comfortable with his new tip.

:48:59.:49:30.

A tough bunch of reds to go into from this angle, but he is one of

:49:31.:49:37.

the best in the business at picking out the right cannon. It is so easy

:49:38.:49:48.

to stick on these. When you see that shot again, it is hit perfectly. He

:49:49.:49:57.

needs to hit the red, the third red, so it pushes it into the bunch. He

:49:58.:50:04.

could not hit that any better. The three reds above the black, that

:50:05.:50:07.

one, he has to hit on the right-hand side of it. Any other part of that

:50:08.:50:12.

red and they don't open. A fantastic shot.

:50:13.:50:23.

I'll tell you what, it is an absolute pleasure to be sitting and

:50:24.:50:31.

commentating on this sort of match. It really is fabulous to watch. Look

:50:32.:50:35.

at the pot success rate. Yes, he looks like he loves this new

:50:36.:50:59.

tip on the cue, but he will be enjoying this challenge that's up

:51:00.:51:02.

against him today. Playing a man at the top of his form, as Marco Fu is.

:51:03.:51:19.

These frames are not lasting very long, are they?

:51:20.:51:30.

Now, full concentration to see if he can respond with a century break.

:51:31.:51:55.

You can't beat the high break, that's for certain, but well even if

:51:56.:51:59.

he doesn't make a century, it doesn't really matter. But a great

:52:00.:52:05.

response this. Marco can't do anything about it. And this

:52:06.:52:16.

Alexander palace crowd they are being royally entertained here.

:52:17.:52:32.

APPLAUSE He might be able to pot the red

:52:33.:52:36.

that's closest to the black. If not, the cannon. No, it will go.

:52:37.:52:54.

Well, this is stunning. Absolutely stunning snooker.

:52:55.:53:15.

In between the yellow and brown. APPLAUSE

:53:16.:53:26.

A straightforward game. That's another century. Ronnie's

:53:27.:53:37.

first of the match. And he has made 858 centuries now in his career. Who

:53:38.:53:47.

is going to bet against him getting to that magical 1,000 centuries?

:53:48.:53:52.

Wouldn't that be something in a career?

:53:53.:54:06.

What a response from Ronnie O'Sullivan. Marco Fu made a break of

:54:07.:54:32.

141. The response was, that superb century, 1222. We're all square.

:54:33.:54:34.

3-3. I can't wait for more of this! I couldn't agree more. We are

:54:35.:54:43.

driving on towards what could be a record number of centuries. In the

:54:44.:54:48.

current format without a wildcard round, the biggest number is 28

:54:49.:54:52.

centuries made in 2015 and that's the 23rd of the week so far.

:54:53.:54:56.

Ronnie's second, but what stunning stuff from the two of them and that

:54:57.:55:02.

141 in the previous frame from Marco Fu beat his own high break of this

:55:03.:55:06.

week of 140. It just gets better and better. Loving this. I'm still in a

:55:07.:55:11.

state of shock that he can play with that tip because it is a

:55:12.:55:18.

manufacturer's tip. He got hold of the cue ball and it is in perfect

:55:19.:55:21.

position every time. What I would say, even though he is a genius,

:55:22.:55:25.

that proves that inn a way, a great match, but in a way, you could argue

:55:26.:55:30.

he has been a bit lucky to pick out of a box of the particular tip he's

:55:31.:55:35.

using which is an American made tip, which is a cheap and cheerful one,

:55:36.:55:39.

but most players preferred it and picked a good one out of the box as

:55:40.:55:43.

opposed to one that was another hard one or a very, very soft one! A

:55:44.:55:48.

little bit of experience by Paul or Ronnie. You test them and squeeze

:55:49.:55:52.

them to get a feeling if it is going to be a hard or soft one. You never

:55:53.:55:56.

really know until you cut down the sides and put it on. And as John was

:55:57.:56:01.

saying and Stephen were saying there are some tips around that are more

:56:02.:56:04.

expensive that are actually a lot more guaranteed that the pressure

:56:05.:56:11.

you're going to get on them. Tipgate aside, the fact that he's respond to

:56:12.:56:13.

go this challenge says so much about him. That's what sometimes he needs,

:56:14.:56:18.

isn't it? When you have got as much talent as he is got, some games

:56:19.:56:22.

comes easy, but he is playing somebody at the top of his game

:56:23.:56:25.

today and he's enjoying this. And Marco Fu is giving as good as he

:56:26.:56:30.

gets here. What a match. I open you're enjoying this semifinal of

:56:31.:56:33.

the Masters. We said this is where we have a final and so it is

:56:34.:56:38.

proving, one of them will be going through to tomorrow's final? Will it

:56:39.:56:42.

be Ronnie or the man who has been in the final before, only to be beaten

:56:43.:56:43.

six years ago, Marco Fu? Back we go. Ronnie O'Sullivan to break.

:56:44.:57:01.

I'll tell you what Stephen when Marco can go back into the arena

:57:02.:57:06.

there, he got a fabulous reception from this terrific crowd.

:57:07.:57:15.

How much quicker can these two players get? Ronnie O'Sullivan just

:57:16.:57:19.

equalled Marco down to the 16 seconds a shot.

:57:20.:57:23.

Marco played that red thinking it was the only one that he could leave

:57:24.:57:29.

possibly and missed it and how often does that happen?

:57:30.:57:42.

Well, one red, one black, Dennis, what do you think? You are naughty,

:57:43.:57:48.

Stephen! Well, in practise or in exhibition

:57:49.:58:22.

you play the right-hand side of those two reds and brush off the

:58:23.:58:26.

pack for the black. Still part of this shot. Yes, he has done.

:58:27.:58:31.

APPLAUSE Concentrating on the frame. Yes, the

:58:32.:59:21.

crowd... Thank you, let's have a lull, please. Ronnie, even Marco was

:59:22.:59:28.

smiling. Ronnie, as all players, the main concern is the frame. That's

:59:29.:59:35.

nice to see. Of course, he made that maximum

:59:36.:59:42.

break on 13 occasions, just overtook your record, Stephen, 12 you made.

:59:43.:00:00.

Never been in front in the semi-final. Time to take the lead?

:00:01.:00:23.

We didn't see that coming. It was just a little bit of a distraction

:00:24.:00:30.

with that red there having to bridge over it that caused my opinion to

:00:31.:00:36.

miss that. That's the only reason I can think of why he missed the

:00:37.:00:39.

black. Loose red to the right of the bunch.

:00:40.:01:06.

Big target if you wanted to go into them and really open things up.

:01:07.:01:38.

Another big moment in this match. So often a deciding factor in these

:01:39.:01:50.

matches are, not the frames that you should win, it's the frames that you

:01:51.:01:53.

shouldn't, the ones that you can pinch. Such a fine line between

:01:54.:01:58.

winning and losing when both players are playing so well.

:01:59.:02:01.

He's just finished a little awkward. He took the opportunity to open more

:02:02.:02:08.

of the reds up there. Just having to stretch quite a bit here.

:02:09.:02:26.

A little straighter on the black than he would have liked but that

:02:27.:02:29.

shouldn't be a problem. So important, this red. This clears

:02:30.:03:16.

everything. No excuses now not to win the frame at this visit from

:03:17.:03:19.

Marco Fu. He doesn't want to be playing a

:03:20.:03:40.

cannon because they are all available.

:03:41.:03:50.

Rather than forcing that in... Next to the pink.

:03:51.:04:07.

This would be quite a frame to pinch for Marco here.

:04:08.:04:21.

Caught Ronnie shaking his head there. He knows at this standard he

:04:22.:04:27.

can't afford any mistakes. We showed you the shot of Ronnie

:04:28.:04:40.

bridging over the red a little awkwardly. This was the one.

:04:41.:04:58.

You don't see him shake his head very often. But he knows Marco's not

:04:59.:05:06.

going to miss. He's thinking very clearly at the moment, is Marco Fu.

:05:07.:05:23.

So composed Marco Fu. Just blue to make absolutely certain and it's

:05:24.:06:11.

straightforward. You just can't make a mistake in

:06:12.:06:28.

this game the way these boys are playing. Another fabulous frame of

:06:29.:06:40.

snooker. Ronnie O'Sullivan after 47 finished a little bit, missed the

:06:41.:06:45.

black and that was the end of it. Marco Fu with that lead is back in

:06:46.:06:50.

with it. Such a calm, confident air about this man. This is really one

:06:51.:06:53.

of the great matches that we've seen isn't it? It is. The thing is, you

:06:54.:06:58.

expected Marco to clear up. I mean, I just felt that, you know, I wasn't

:06:59.:07:03.

looking for, where is he going to crack or feel he's under pressure.

:07:04.:07:08.

At the moment he seems impervious to the pressure. Earlier on when his

:07:09.:07:12.

wife and young daughter came in the room, he's confident enough and

:07:13.:07:15.

relaxed enough to just have a chat during the game. Can you imagine

:07:16.:07:20.

doing that? ! That is interesting. That is his elder daughter, Belle,

:07:21.:07:25.

Amelia is outside playing, I believe and Shirley just flew in from Hong

:07:26.:07:30.

Kong so he hasn't seen them for a while. So to be able to say hi, how

:07:31.:07:36.

are you doing, then to carry on is great, but a tough one for Ronnie

:07:37.:07:40.

1234 sn As Stephen said, it's winning the frames you shouldn't

:07:41.:07:45.

win. Ronnie had a difficult shot. Missed it there, but you can't

:07:46.:07:48.

always think all the balls are going to go after that. But Marco, I agree

:07:49.:08:01.

with Steve, will get the balls in. His composure to think clearly when

:08:02.:08:06.

the pressure is on? The cue ball doesn't move anywhere, he's so tight

:08:07.:08:10.

into the next ball! It's Fu back in the lead at 4-3.

:08:11.:08:14.

Both players are getting the breakoff pot and getting the white

:08:15.:08:31.

close to the cushion meaning it's a difficult pot. If you are away from

:08:32.:08:33.

the cushion, it's slightly easier. Looks quite a thin snick this, but

:08:34.:08:55.

maybe it's OK. A bit too pacy. So he's restricted

:08:56.:09:11.

now to what he can do with the cue ball. The red that's to the left of

:09:12.:09:21.

the bunch of reds, he'll have to angle that and cannon the blue, then

:09:22.:09:24.

he can concentrate on the pot and the position will take care of

:09:25.:09:26.

itself. Just hit the blue. A bit of movement

:09:27.:09:34.

in his body there in that shot. That wasn't his normal smooth

:09:35.:09:42.

playing style. A little bit of movement at that

:09:43.:10:54.

time. He normally does that. The fact he was tight on the cushion

:10:55.:10:57.

almost, that's slightly more difficult. Finishing short on this

:10:58.:11:05.

red so he could bring more reds into play when potting this.

:11:06.:11:28.

Missed a similar black in the previous frame but he was bridging

:11:29.:11:32.

over a red that time. Just managed to avoid cannoning the

:11:33.:12:38.

red there which could have spoiled things. Judged it to perfection.

:12:39.:12:53.

Three reds above the black, he could push through to the black one. That

:12:54.:13:03.

is what he played. Hasn't worked out though. When he hits

:13:04.:13:18.

Needs a special pot if he's going to continue here. Remember what

:13:19.:13:24.

happened in the previous frame, a 47 break wasn't enough. This is a very

:13:25.:13:33.

tough shot. Oh, what a shot! APPLAUSE.

:13:34.:13:48.

Through the gap, redthe pink. He was always going to finish low on this

:13:49.:13:53.

red. Just didn't quite judge it. When

:13:54.:14:47.

you're cannoning other reds, there's always a possibility you can finish

:14:48.:14:59.

on the cushion. Shouldn't be a problem covering that red. It's over

:15:00.:15:03.

the right corner pocket. Has to make sure he locks the path

:15:04.:15:06.

through to that. And the brown near the cushion for

:15:07.:15:13.

insurance. APPLAUSE.

:15:14.:15:28.

It's a very healthy lead, 54 points, but not a man in the form that Marco

:15:29.:15:32.

Fu is. Will he get a chance? Very clever indeed.

:15:33.:16:08.

APPLAUSE. Acknowledged by Ronnie tapping on

:16:09.:16:12.

the table. OK, there is a potable red into the left middle but look

:16:13.:16:14.

where the cue ball's tucked up. That last shot that Marco Fu played,

:16:15.:16:54.

shows how well he's thinking to just get down and play that safety shot.

:16:55.:16:56.

Seen it straightaway. Oh, brilliant shot. Look how

:16:57.:17:09.

confident he played that. Look what he's leaving. Should he have missed

:17:10.:17:16.

that red? Just floated it in. He's just seeing everything isn't he.

:17:17.:17:29.

Oh, decelerated on that. Chose to take the most difficult red.

:17:30.:17:49.

That's what happens when you decelerate, you miss the pot thin.

:17:50.:18:00.

Wow, that could have been a huge turning point had he pinched that

:18:01.:18:05.

frame after pinching the previous one.

:18:06.:18:40.

They are just so evenly matched now in this semi-final. First sign of

:18:41.:18:52.

weakness I've seen in Marco Fu for the first time in a long time, in

:18:53.:18:56.

this match. APPLAUSE.

:18:57.:19:10.

Would have been a strong favourite had he have taken the frame. But you

:19:11.:19:18.

just sense that this could go to a deciding frame. We have had some

:19:19.:19:22.

fabulous matches all week. Quite a few of them going the distance.

:19:23.:19:50.

Average frame time of 12 minutes. Just shows you the quality of

:19:51.:20:03.

snooker. Much safety play. It's been whoever gets in first here.

:20:04.:20:10.

Finished the frame off with a break of 63. Marco Fu did have a chance,

:20:11.:20:50.

missed that red, with the rest, and we are back all square again, 4-4.

:20:51.:20:57.

Marco had the chance for another steal as in the previous frame, but

:20:58.:21:02.

Ronnie on 55, was it the right shot that the rest have taken on? I think

:21:03.:21:10.

so. I think where he landed, where he finished, he knew full well, if

:21:11.:21:13.

he was perfect on the red, if he drops it in, it was a perfect

:21:14.:21:17.

position. He's just missed it. Interesting what Stephen said, I

:21:18.:21:20.

said virtually the same thing to you, is that the first sign of a

:21:21.:21:24.

little bit of pressure showing in the match, but nevertheless the

:21:25.:21:26.

right shot to take. You can't argue with it. On many occasions we say

:21:27.:21:31.

take the difficult ball earlier than the last ball because it may make

:21:32.:21:35.

the lest rest of the clearance easier. He's done that. That's not

:21:36.:21:39.

much different to taking the red along the top cushion when there are

:21:40.:21:42.

two left. That's what you would do. It put him under pressure, he's

:21:43.:21:46.

playing that with the rest and in a way, he's going, if I get this in,

:21:47.:21:49.

this could be frame ball. He's got to clear all the balls up. The

:21:50.:21:52.

argument against that is that he's playing it with the rest and it may

:21:53.:21:56.

have been a way of extricating that red from the side cushion in another

:21:57.:22:00.

way. Later on, yes. He's been playing so well. He must have

:22:01.:22:03.

fancied every ball he went for, but it was with the rest. He's been so

:22:04.:22:08.

cool. We talked about that in the last frame. Does your opponent feed

:22:09.:22:12.

on little signs like that, that perhaps you are under it? They have

:22:13.:22:16.

to because there's been no mistakes, it's been that good. True. Any

:22:17.:22:20.

little sign of weakness you can cling on to you are going to take.

:22:21.:22:23.

They are both absolutely at each other. Ronnie O'Sullivan banged the

:22:24.:22:27.

table earlier when he failed to get position of the ball. Marco Fu

:22:28.:22:30.

nearly banged the table. That's qieflt of Ronnie banging the table.

:22:31.:22:34.

Almost unheard of from his perspective. His expression actually

:22:35.:22:39.

changed! He's deliberately cultivated that level. It's a poker

:22:40.:22:42.

face he's done, not to show weakness so when it does crack, it takes you

:22:43.:22:48.

aback. He's got a fabulous temperament. We have been extolling

:22:49.:22:56.

his virtues this week and his temperament is to keep smiling.

:22:57.:23:02.

Ronnie giving a bit of attention to the equipment there. There's Belle

:23:03.:23:07.

with mum Shirley, just flown in from Hong Kong. Looking for her dad.

:23:08.:23:11.

She's a real live wire that one. A couple of years ago at the UK

:23:12.:23:14.

Championship, she was one of the stars of the show. Cheeky little

:23:15.:23:19.

smile. She's a real sweetheart and her dad is doing fantastic things

:23:20.:23:22.

here as he tries to go for a first major title. Best of three, Belle

:23:23.:23:27.

Shirley everybody else on tenterhooks to see how this is going

:23:28.:23:33.

and the pressure really on now guys? Yes, it is, what a fantastic match

:23:34.:23:36.

and tournament we have been treated to. Probably I've said many a time

:23:37.:23:40.

worthy of a final. They met in the semi-final. Two great players.

:23:41.:23:45.

Remains to be seen whether Marco can keep the form up and can Ronnie - I

:23:46.:23:51.

think he's got oaf the new tip - Ronnie is in a good mental state

:23:52.:23:55.

now. What percentage of increase in level that we have seen over the

:23:56.:24:00.

last couple of days from the match has he played against Liang and

:24:01.:24:04.

Robertson now? It's chalk and cheese. I think he's really enjoying

:24:05.:24:08.

the challenge today. He's playing against somebody at the peak of his

:24:09.:24:12.

form and he wants to get into the final. It's ban wonderful match,

:24:13.:24:19.

plenty more to come. 4-4, best of three, here we go.

:24:20.:24:30.

Once again, good pace with the break-off shot.

:24:31.:24:35.

APPLAUSE. If he's got a slight angle on this

:24:36.:24:41.

red, he might just be tempted because he could drop on the black,

:24:42.:24:46.

the only thing he could possibly leave would be the red. It's now

:24:47.:25:04.

down to the best of three. Just decided against risking that.

:25:05.:25:09.

APPLAUSE. APPLAUSE.

:25:10.:25:14.

The crowd have been fabulous throughout this match. We don't need

:25:15.:25:18.

a single one shouting out at the wrong time, it spoils it for both

:25:19.:25:20.

the players. The red that's closest to the cue

:25:21.:25:28.

ball, he could come off that the left hand side a bit thin leave the

:25:29.:25:33.

cue ball up by the yellow pocket and hopefully bring the black into play

:25:34.:25:35.

as well. That was a risky one to Nestle and

:25:36.:26:24.

you are trusting that the table's going to run perfectly through. You

:26:25.:26:30.

can always get a little deviation from the cloth and he didn't judge

:26:31.:26:38.

it as he intended. It was the first negative shot that Marco Fu's played

:26:39.:26:41.

in a long time because it could have gone thin and brought the cue ball

:26:42.:26:46.

back to where it was but he obviously thought that was the one

:26:47.:26:58.

he played was the easy one to play. REFEREE: Can you stop moving,

:26:59.:27:04.

please... Someone on the front row was moving around having a drink,

:27:05.:27:07.

probably brought some water in with him.

:27:08.:27:16.

He can come off the bunch and it's not that difficult a shot to take

:27:17.:27:22.

the cue ball back up to where he was playing from.

:27:23.:27:24.

Not the way he's been playing so far this afternoon, that shot.

:27:25.:27:51.

This was the one where you can see him dropping the cue. He knew it was

:27:52.:27:59.

a great chance. Meanwhile, he knows that Ronnie hasn't finished on the

:28:00.:28:02.

red as nicely as he would have liked. It's all about a cannon here

:28:03.:28:11.

when he hits the black. Can he avoid that? He could. Left handed as well.

:28:12.:28:16.

APPLAUSE. To get that sort of action on the

:28:17.:28:26.

cue ball with your opposite hand to avoid cannoning the black was

:28:27.:28:28.

excellent. Since the interthat will, and we had

:28:29.:29:14.

the interval after three frames, he made breaks of 95, 122, 47, 55 and

:29:15.:29:27.

63 in the previous frame. 141 and 83 breaks for Marco Fu.

:29:28.:29:32.

APPLAUSE. Gone too far. A smile there, but six

:29:33.:29:55.

inches further than he intended. This was the one he misjudged

:29:56.:30:25.

slightly. He knew it would be too hard.

:30:26.:30:52.

I think he can see enough of the red, but the brown is quite a

:30:53.:31:01.

distraction. The red just nearest the blue, but very awkward cueing

:31:02.:31:03.

along the side of the brown there. Managed to cover that red. That's a

:31:04.:31:47.

tricky situation he was faced with there.

:31:48.:32:20.

There is Nick Peanut Baines. He is a keyboard player with the Kaizer

:32:21.:32:36.

Chiefs. He loves his snooker. Well, this red, to the right of the table,

:32:37.:32:39.

there is pressure on this. If that red keeps running, he's safe

:32:40.:33:03.

for relatively safe. He got away with that one. There is

:33:04.:33:12.

only one pottable red. That's the one that just between the pink and

:33:13.:33:23.

black. That's the only possible red he could pot, but he may cannon into

:33:24.:33:30.

other reds. So it's very difficult. Just the safety shot. I don't blame

:33:31.:33:33.

him. Well, we've had everything in this

:33:34.:34:04.

match only bouts of safety and now we're getting that! There has been a

:34:05.:34:12.

string of breaks. It is nice to see the tactical side of the game also.

:34:13.:34:23.

Oh. He got a good cue ball, but if he

:34:24.:34:29.

can get tight up behind the colour, he will gain a good advantage. We

:34:30.:34:34.

will show you this fluke to plant. He doesn't want to get too cute and

:34:35.:34:42.

try and get too close to the brown. Oh, that cue ball ran off. That ran

:34:43.:34:48.

off a mile. It only moved the space of just about over a foot. Watch

:34:49.:34:52.

this cue ball go to the right. That's shocking.

:34:53.:35:09.

Well, nothing Marco Fu could have done about that. Sometimes you get

:35:10.:35:20.

it along the baulk line. But instead of being snookered, if this green

:35:21.:35:23.

goes in, it could be the end of frame, but it's not easy.

:35:24.:35:33.

A fabulous pot. You see what he's leaving.

:35:34.:35:57.

What a difference that would have made, Dennis. It would have stuck

:35:58.:36:06.

Ronnie up tight behind that brown ball. It is just a little awkward

:36:07.:36:11.

here for the good positional shot. He can't make his mind up.

:36:12.:36:26.

Yes, sometimes you're faced with a shot and you know it's not just a

:36:27.:36:32.

matter of potting the ball and getting nicely on the next colour.

:36:33.:36:42.

He still can't decide which way to play it.

:36:43.:36:54.

And in the end he made it look very, very easy with a very, very delicate

:36:55.:37:02.

screw shot. Yes, a puff of the cheeks.

:37:03.:37:09.

Always glad to get that one out of the way, but very unfortunate for

:37:10.:37:17.

Marco Fu. OK, he was a long way behind, but had he of got the

:37:18.:37:21.

snooker which he normally would have done without the ball drifting, as

:37:22.:37:30.

we show you it again, and suddenly little things are just going in

:37:31.:37:36.

Ronnie's favour. I mean, he has played fantastic stuff. I think that

:37:37.:37:42.

turning point in the previous frame when Marco missed the one with the

:37:43.:37:48.

rest that would have given him a 5-3 lead if he had of pinched that

:37:49.:37:58.

frame. It is like the first time in the match, the enormity of the

:37:59.:38:03.

occasion got to him and he the opportunity to go 5-3 ahead.

:38:04.:38:43.

He won the previous frame with breaks of 55 and 63.

:38:44.:38:54.

This is following a similar pattern. He has had breaks of 46 and now

:38:55.:38:57.

there are. -- this. Oh, what a shot that was.

:38:58.:40:00.

You don't see that very often. You don't see that shot played very

:40:01.:40:02.

often. And the black is on its way. A break

:40:03.:40:16.

of 46. He followed that up with that break of 82. The Rocket really has

:40:17.:40:21.

lifted off and now he's just one frame away from the place in the

:40:22.:40:23.

final. It is 5-4. A lot hinged on that roll off from

:40:24.:40:33.

Marco earlier on. This was a bad one. He is very unlucky there. I

:40:34.:40:38.

agree with Dennis, sometimes you get them along the slate line, but there

:40:39.:40:42.

is no slate line there. You could see it going right. OK, it is a

:40:43.:40:47.

little bit hard anyway, but to pull off like that is unlucky. Some

:40:48.:40:51.

cracking stuff from Ronnie O'Sullivan again. 46 and 82 in that

:40:52.:40:57.

frame and there was a lovely green to the middle pocket that we were

:40:58.:41:07.

oing and ahing about. Ronnie O'Sullivan, you know, he does know

:41:08.:41:11.

how to take a frame by the scruff of the neck and the sign of a great

:41:12.:41:15.

champion, when needed, he seemed to have upped the pace in the whole

:41:16.:41:19.

tournament. OK, we talk about form and playing your first round match

:41:20.:41:23.

and winning it easily, it is about how you end up the tournament, not

:41:24.:41:27.

how you start off. Ronnie O'Sullivan with a brand-new tip on, regardless

:41:28.:41:31.

of how fantastic that is, all of a sudden he looks like a champion. Do

:41:32.:41:35.

you detect any signs of tentativeness in Marco at this

:41:36.:41:39.

point? Can that be attributed this situation to him, or is this all

:41:40.:41:43.

about Ronnie? If he loses the match, people will look at the rest. It is

:41:44.:41:48.

so important. In the grand scheme of things, there is not a lot wrong he

:41:49.:41:50.

has done. Certainly not in this match. He has played as good as he

:41:51.:41:55.

can do, but he has got a fully focussed Ronnie O'Sullivan who is

:41:56.:41:57.

enjoying the challenge today and that's what the problem is. It has

:41:58.:42:02.

been a challenge that's been even more magnified by the equipment

:42:03.:42:05.

failure with the cue earlier, but somehow he has come back, he

:42:06.:42:10.

produced his best stuff of the whole week since that technical fault if

:42:11.:42:13.

you like at the end of frame three. He is one away from booking a place

:42:14.:42:17.

in yet another Masters final. Both players have been breaking off

:42:18.:42:31.

very well. They're finding that baulk cushion and they keep leaving

:42:32.:42:36.

a half chance, but because the white is so close to the cushion, it makes

:42:37.:42:42.

it very, very difficult. This will be interesting to see if

:42:43.:42:46.

Ronnie is tempted by this red to left corner to drop in the black and

:42:47.:42:49.

you can see if he misses it. He would have to be leaving Marco Fu a

:42:50.:42:57.

chance. Well, he might be refusing it. It looks like he will leave the

:42:58.:43:01.

cue ball on this top cushion. Or is he taking the pot on?

:43:02.:43:16.

APPLAUSE What a fantastic pot, but that

:43:17.:43:21.

always looked like the natural angle for the cue ball to go. A tremendous

:43:22.:43:29.

pot. Yes, he also slid off the side of

:43:30.:43:31.

the pack and finished on the black. He might have left a red to the

:43:32.:43:58.

right middle pocket. I think he was playing to just land on that red.

:43:59.:44:05.

Yeah. He has left a possible pot. But no easy colour available if he

:44:06.:44:12.

takes that on. Yeah, it was quite clever really. It's going to take

:44:13.:44:17.

some shot for Marco to get on the black. That was always the danger.

:44:18.:44:24.

An element of safety as well. You can see where the cue ball is.

:44:25.:45:46.

That's a little bit on the thick side, but I think the pace of the

:45:47.:46:03.

table will still take him behind the yellow. He would have been trying to

:46:04.:46:16.

get the cue ball tight on the baulk cushion, but that will do very

:46:17.:46:18.

nicely. There is no easy route back to the

:46:19.:46:36.

safety zone from that position. APPLAUSE

:46:37.:47:03.

I think this Alexandra Palace crowd have taken to Marco Fu. I think the

:47:04.:47:09.

snooker he has produced this week has been scintillating especially

:47:10.:47:15.

against Judd Trump and when you knock the balls in and you play

:47:16.:47:21.

great snooker, you'll get the support of the crowd. Just look at

:47:22.:47:25.

that crowd. What an atmosphere these two players have had to play in this

:47:26.:47:33.

afternoon. 2,000 people in the Ally Pally. Noise when it's needed.

:47:34.:47:37.

Silence when the players are at the table.

:47:38.:48:12.

Where is the cue ball going? It's OK.

:48:13.:48:21.

APPLAUSE And have a look at the reds. That is

:48:22.:48:26.

what you call an attacking safety shot.

:48:27.:48:48.

Certainly no easy escape back down the table from that position.

:48:49.:48:57.

You would have to be very accurate, indeed.

:48:58.:49:06.

The white is tight on the cushion to the left of the black, he'd cover

:49:07.:49:15.

that red that's on for the right corner, but he thought of quite a

:49:16.:49:17.

few options. It is not often Ronnie thinks about

:49:18.:49:33.

a shot this length of time, but it is very understandable here.

:49:34.:50:01.

It was worth waiting on. I said he'd do well to find a path down the

:50:02.:50:07.

table. He found a pot and he found a way back down the table and he's on

:50:08.:50:13.

the brown to get back up to the reds. He spotted something on the

:50:14.:50:19.

cue ball, but that is the shot, probably of the tournament, from

:50:20.:50:27.

that position. To pot that and to fin the gap. -- find the gap.

:50:28.:50:40.

Dennis is talking about the whole tournament. It could have been so

:50:41.:50:49.

different in Wen had potted that black in the first round. This man

:50:50.:50:53.

at the table was within a black ball of being knocked out. Now, he looks

:50:54.:51:01.

odds on to be making tomorrow's final. And going for a record

:51:02.:51:12.

seventh Masters title to overtake Stephen's six Masters.

:51:13.:51:31.

Still at 97%. Someone in his line of sight there, "Come on, mate."

:51:32.:51:43.

He's doing the right thing. Thank you, that's enough. He's settling

:51:44.:51:52.

himself. He knows the importance of this visit. He really is fired up

:51:53.:51:54.

here. He has just asked someone to keep

:51:55.:52:48.

still. It must be a photographer. It has to be.

:52:49.:53:23.

Well, Marco Fu has just got to sit there and hope that something can go

:53:24.:53:31.

wrong here for Ronnie, but he looks very, very focussed does Ronnie

:53:32.:53:33.

O'Sullivan. It has been an absolutely fabulous

:53:34.:54:33.

semifinal match this between two players at the top of their form.

:54:34.:54:45.

Very few mistakes have been made. The odd error that was costly

:54:46.:54:50.

because of the way either player are playing. A little bit of misfortune

:54:51.:55:04.

misfortune with that ball rolling off.

:55:05.:55:14.

APPLAUSE I don't think I have ever seen

:55:15.:55:18.

Ronnie O'Sullivan as animated as he is today. It seems every shot has

:55:19.:55:25.

got a different facial expression. The will to win is ferocious to get

:55:26.:55:30.

into that final. Well, this is going to finish a

:55:31.:55:56.

little awkward. 51 in front. He is not many pots away from securing a

:55:57.:55:58.

place in the final. It's there. He is going to play it left-handed

:55:59.:56:07.

if he can reach it. Why not? And that is a lovely gesture from

:56:08.:56:54.

Marco Fu there. It has been a fabulous semifinal as I mentioned.

:56:55.:56:59.

We said Marco Fu had to play at the top of his game. He did that. He's

:57:00.:57:07.

still applauding. That's the type of character that Marco is, but they've

:57:08.:57:13.

treated this Alexandra Palace audience to some brilliant,

:57:14.:57:16.

brilliant snooker. It doesn't matter.

:57:17.:57:25.

That was lovely to see both players. It has been a fabulous semifinal. It

:57:26.:57:29.

would have been a great final. In the end Ronnie O'Sullivan was just

:57:30.:57:35.

brilliant and he goes on to beat Marco Fu which 6-4. He's in the

:57:36.:57:36.

final! This Ally Pally crowd is on its

:57:37.:57:47.

feet. That was truly awesome, gentlemen. Fabulous afternoon of

:57:48.:57:52.

snooker. Two players at their best. I feel sorry for Marco because

:57:53.:57:55.

nobody else but that man would have beaten him today. You see his face

:57:56.:58:02.

when he won there? He was euphoric. We saw the fist pump and we saw

:58:03.:58:09.

Marco applauding him. That's all you can do particularly in the final

:58:10.:58:13.

frame when he picked the red out and got on to the brown. You can only be

:58:14.:58:18.

admiring of that and we have seen Ronnie O'Sullivan on many occasions

:58:19.:58:22.

produce something special, but from the add verity of having to change

:58:23.:58:26.

his tip half-way through and being up against it against a player that

:58:27.:58:30.

was playing so well, that was one magnificent performance. He should

:58:31.:58:33.

be very proud of himself. Well, he is through into a 12th final.

:58:34.:58:39.

Ronnie, fantastic. May I say, that's how you break a tip in!

:58:40.:58:46.

Against all that adversity, how did you cope because at that point in

:58:47.:58:50.

the match you're down. Go through that for us? It's crazy. I was

:58:51.:58:54.

cueing really well and I just thought, I was on the practise table

:58:55.:58:58.

and I kept getting out of position and I thought this ain't me! If I

:58:59.:59:02.

had of been cueing bad. I've tried that. No, I knew it wasn't me. It

:59:03.:59:10.

wasn't me. I just said to my mate, we was steaming it. I had my cue tip

:59:11.:59:14.

over a kettle because that's meant to soften it up and it didn't have

:59:15.:59:18.

no effect. I just went out there and I just couldn't play any shots. I

:59:19.:59:24.

had no touch, no feel and I'm a touch and player and if I haven't

:59:25.:59:28.

got that, I might as well go home. I need something, so hi to put a new

:59:29.:59:33.

tip on and it was a decent tip. How do you play with a new tip? I'm not

:59:34.:59:54.

a bad player. The tip was split though. It was completely gone. It

:59:55.:59:59.

couldn't take no chalk. I miscued five or six times. It was chalking a

:00:00.:00:07.

bit of slate. I said to my friend, it is like a bit of slate. I was

:00:08.:00:16.

going to wait for the interval, but it was so gone and they said you can

:00:17.:00:20.

take the interval now. I was like sweet.

:00:21.:00:22.

slightly. He knew it would be too hard.

:00:23.:00:24.

How risky going for a new tip? No risk at all, I would never have won

:00:25.:00:29.

that. I knew that unless I raised a gear, I was going home, mate, he

:00:30.:00:33.

would have knocked me out. It was the only decision to make. OK, 95

:00:34.:00:37.

immediately when you came back into the arena then you throw in a 122,

:00:38.:00:41.

but there was a moment in frame 8 where he missed with the rest when

:00:42.:00:44.

he was up here and if he cleared that, you were on 55 weren't you.

:00:45.:00:49.

Yes. It was at that point we maybe saw a bit of frailty and that was a

:00:50.:00:56.

turning point? It's the Masters, 2,000 people, 50-odd behind, we are

:00:57.:00:59.

capable of missing anything. He's got no problem with bottle, he's a

:01:00.:01:04.

tournament winner, but anyone in the world in the history of the game

:01:05.:01:07.

could have missed that. They'll tell you that. It's not easy. If he had

:01:08.:01:12.

his hand on the table, I fancied clearing up. All of a sudden he

:01:13.:01:18.

played the roll up, it seemed to perhaps hit a finger mark. Strange

:01:19.:01:22.

situation? I don't know what happened there, I can't remember.

:01:23.:01:25.

Listen, I mean, at the end of the day, if you don't play well, the

:01:26.:01:29.

other guy can have luck. If you play well the other guy can have luck and

:01:30.:01:35.

gets bits of this, but if you play well you can overcome it. I had a

:01:36.:01:38.

lot of luck but he should have still beat me because I weren't very good.

:01:39.:01:46.

We were discussing the level you played at today, comparing it to

:01:47.:01:52.

your previous games. I said three years ago, I'm never taking another

:01:53.:01:55.

tip off and I stuck with this tip and it was a terrible tip. I stuck

:01:56.:01:59.

with it and stuck with it and I was like, you know what, it's coming

:02:00.:02:04.

off, but that's sometimes what you have to do, make an instinctive

:02:05.:02:08.

decision. Everyone around me was, what the hell are you doing and you

:02:09.:02:12.

have to live by the sword, die by the sword. You looked like you

:02:13.:02:19.

enjoyed that match? Probably one of the best I've won. I fancied the job

:02:20.:02:24.

even with a new tip. I thought if I can get a feel of it, I'm playing

:02:25.:02:28.

well enough to counteract that. If you are playing well, you can get

:02:29.:02:32.

away with a new tip. If you are playing bad, you get a new tip on

:02:33.:02:39.

and it's Overmars. You are into your 12th final. Only won six, not a very

:02:40.:02:45.

good strike rate. You could still take this record on your own. I

:02:46.:02:50.

wonder who you fancy tonight, Joe or Barry? I don't care, to me I've had

:02:51.:02:55.

a Saturday afternoon out, what else would I be doing on a Saturday

:02:56.:02:58.

afternoon, 2,000 people, unbelievable, lucky, luck you boy

:02:59.:03:01.

and I'm lucky I have all day tomorrow. A great week so far. Last

:03:02.:03:05.

year, I was really under pressure because I done my back in and I was

:03:06.:03:09.

doing interviews and you thought I was losing the plot, you lot.

:03:10.:03:15.

Nothing personal. I never thought I would play properly again because I

:03:16.:03:18.

done my back in so bad. This year I'm so relaxed because I think, I

:03:19.:03:23.

have perspective and Steve said, don't tell anyone you are playing

:03:24.:03:27.

better. I've come through a lot and I feel that everything's a bonus.

:03:28.:03:32.

I'm still twitching out there and I still want to win, don't get me

:03:33.:03:36.

wrong. We saw the fist pump, it meant a lot to you? It meant a lot

:03:37.:03:41.

to me. Marco is such a lovely guy but I just felt all the way through

:03:42.:03:44.

that match, I can win this but I know I've got to play well and I

:03:45.:03:49.

can't make many mistakes. I the new tip, a little shot was missable and

:03:50.:03:53.

I thought, it's up against me but I can do this. When I done it I was so

:03:54.:03:58.

relieved because I have another day to get used to the tip so I'll be

:03:59.:04:02.

quiet now. You don't have to be quiet. Another semi-final tonight.

:04:03.:04:07.

You will enjoy that. What an awesome performance. It's been an absolute

:04:08.:04:10.

pleasure. Thank you, thank you so much. We are back at serve tonne see

:04:11.:04:15.

which Englishman, the Hawk or the Gentleman, that Ronnie will be

:04:16.:04:18.

playing. Hope you can join us then, but what an afternoon. Thanks for

:04:19.:04:20.

your company. Bye for now. I bet he can rub his belly

:04:21.:04:41.

and pat his head.

:04:42.:04:47.

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