Rocket chasing centuries record in Masters quarters clash with Fu
Defending Masters champion Ronnie O’Sullivan, 11/10 with Coral for a sixth tournament title, will be aiming to break Stephen Hendry’s long-standing century breaks record when he faces Marco Fu in their quarter-final matchup at Alexandra Palace.
The reigning UK Championship winner faces Hong Kong’s fantastic Fu after a 6-4 first round victory over Ricky Walden. O’Sullivan will be hoping to progress to a second consecutive Masters semi final, having been crowned last year’s champion.
Meanwhile, the returning Ali Carter meets Australia’s Neil Robertson in a rematch of last year’s Champion of Champions last 16 clash.
Ronnie O’Sullivan v Marco Fu
Five-time world champion O’Sullivan, odds-on 1/5 to win, equalled Stephen Hendry’s all-time centuries record of 775 as he defeated ‘the Walnut’ in their first round matchup.
The 39-year-old started the tournament on 773 but soon levelled the seven-time world champion’s record, and is odds-on 4/6 to progress past Fu by a margin of three or more frames.
Essex’s O’Sullivan has a commanding head-to-head status over his Chinese opponent, having emerged victorious in seven of the pair’s previous eight meetings. Fu’s last competitive triumph over the prolific potter was back in 2009, when China’s clinical cueist overcame ‘the Rocket’ with a 5-3 Welsh Open victory.
Fu finished off Stuart Bingham in their first round meeting with a magnificent maximum 147 break, and the in-form potter is 11/4 to win the race to four frames against O’Sullivan.
The last time these two met, the reigning champion raced to a sensational 6-0 quarter final win at the 2014 Champion of Champions, and the rampant Rocket is 10/1 to win by the same scoreline this time out as he aims to retain his crown.
Ali Carter v Neil Robertson
Ali ‘the Captain’ Carter, 7/4 to win, will face the 2012 Masters champion Robertson after making short work of Barry Hawkins in a 6-1 first round win.
Although, Essex-born Carter has not piloted a victory over the former world champion since 2013, with ‘the Thunder from Down Under’ winning their last four meetings.
In-form Carter (16/1 to win the tournament) missed the first five months of this season after being diagnosed with cancer. However, the courageous Captain returned last year to win the General Cup, before playing in the Champion of Champions and UK Championship.
His Aussie opponent, 5/1 second favourite for the Masters, earned a hard-fought 6-4 victory over Robert Milkins in the first round, after securing three consecutive frames to seal his progression. The former triple-crown champion is 4/6 to take the opening frame in this quarter-final encounter.