Seven-time World Champion Ronnie O’Sullivan will take on home hero Marco Fu in the final of the 2022 Hong Kong Masters on Sunday.
The duo will lock horns for the right to claim the invitational title and lucrative £100,000 top prize in front of a crowd in excess of 7,500 at the Hong Kong Coliseum.
O’Sullivan has featured in three events this season since equalling Stephen Hendry’s record world title tally at The Crucible in May, and is aiming to kick-start his campaign by going one better than his runner-up spot when the event was last held here five years ago.
The Rocket partnered Reanne Evans in the recent World Mixed Doubles, but the decorated duo failed to progress from the group phase after suffering two defeats from their three matches.
He was then dumped out of the British Open 4-1 at the first hurdle by Switzerland’s Alexander Ursenbacher, but made an emphatic start on his return to Asia by whitewashing three-time Women’s World Champion Ng On Yee 5-0 with breaks of 72, 100, 59, 81 and 95 along the way.
O’Sullivan looked to be heading for a Semi-Final exit when he trailed Neil Robertson 4-1, but only to reel off five consecutive frames, including two centuries, to overcome his recent nemesis.
A resurgent Fu, meanwhile, finds himself in a first televised final since the 2017 Players Championship, having returned to his brilliant best on home soil this week.
The three-time ranking event winner underwent eye surgery in 2018 before taking a break from the sport and was then unable to travel for almost two seasons due to the pandemic, but has made a sensational return to the big time in his homeland.
Fu began by defeating Mark Selby 5-2 before hitting the headlines by making a magical maximum break in the deciding frame against John Higgins on Saturday.
His fifth career maximum has earned him a provisional £10,000 bonus and has set up a show-down with the current world number one – who he defeated to claim his first ranking title at the 2007 Grand Prix.
O’Sullivan has 16 wins to Fu’s nine in the overall head-to-heads, with the Hong Kong cueist prevailing in their most recent encounter at the 2019 World Grand Prix.
Prior to that, ‘The Rocket’ had triumphed over Fu in the 2015, 2017 and 2018 Masters at Alexandra Palace.
The final gets under way from 12pm BST (7pm local time) and will be contested over the best of 11 frames.
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