Tickets are selling amazingly fast for the showpiece event at the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield next month, though there are still seats available for Fu’s first round clash with Martin Gould on Monday April 19 at 10am, as well as a few other sessionsGoing into the Sanyuan Foods China Open, Fu hadn’t won a match in a ranking event since the Roewe Shanghai Masters last September.
But he found a rich vein of form in winning the recent Championship League – earning a place in the Sky Sports-televised Premier League – and carried his improvement to Beijing with wins over Bjorn Haneveer and Nigel Bond to reach the quarter-finals.
Those were vital results for Fu as his top 16 place is not certain, standing 13th in the provisional list with just the Crucible showdown to come before the official list is revised.
“I’ve not been playing well for most of this season,” admitted the former Grand Prix champion from Hong Kong. “But winning the Championship League gave me a real boost of confidence because it was a very strong field and it showed me that I can still do it against the best players. I took a lot of belief from that.
“I would like to keep going with the technical changes I have made recently and it was great to win a couple of matches in Bejing.”
Fu’s best run in Sheffield came in 2006 when he reached the semi-finals and agonisingly lost 17-16 to Peter Ebdon after coming from 15-9 behind to force a deciding frame. He also knocked out Ronnie O’Sullivan en route to the quarter-finals in 2003 so knows what it takes to succeed at the sport’s most famous venue.
“The players treat the World Championship differently to the other events, because it’s so special,” said Fu. “You try not to think too much about what it means, because that can backfire on you. You try to treat it as a normal event, but that’s tough because it’s so important.”
The 32-year-old faces a tricky first round assignment against Londoner Martin Gould, who has made it through the qualifying rounds for the past two years running.
“I’ve never even seen him play, but I spoke to Mark Allen who played him at Sheffield last year, and he said Martin nearly beat him. So it won’t be easy,” added Fu.
The Betfred.com World Snooker Championship runs from April 17 to May 3.