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Michael Taylor 21st Dec 2008 - 10:22

Marco is Fu-d for thought for Murphy

Marco Fu is already superstar in his native Hong Kong but, if he manages to beat Shaun Murphy in the Maplin UK Championship final in Telford, he will become a legend.

30-year-old Fu is one of the most talented Asian players to have taken to the baize over the years, and while China's Ding Junhui is seen as the most talented Asian on the tour, it is Fu who is making all the headlines.

Fu goes into the match with former World Champion Shaun Murphy looking for his second ranking victory, his first coming at The Royal London Watches Grand Prix in 2007.

However, the UK Championship is seen as the second biggest event in the snooker calendar carrying a massive £100,000 first prize, meaning it would be Fu's greatest achievement if he manages to win.

His task is far from simple though against world number three and a resurgent Shaun Murphy.

Harlow born Murphy had been suffering a torrid time this season having failed to win a single ranking event match, but now he has the chance to join the select group that have World and UK Championship titles.

He was sluggish at times in the semi-final against Stephen Maguire but ultimately he found something that he had previously been missing, whether it was luck or a killer instinct we cannot be sure.

He rightly goes into the best of 19 final as the 4/7 favourite but, if Fu can continue building breaks like he did against Ali Carter, his price of 11/8 could prove to be huge.

Every BBC Commentator seems to mention that break building is the major part of the modern era of snooker and with Murphy and Fu we have two players more than capable of clearing up in every frame.

On the highest break market we can't separate the two finalists and as such have priced both Murphy and Fu at 10/11.

So far in the tournament Fu has been a century making machine, leading all competitors with seven, although his top-knock of 138 is only two more than Murphy's effort of 136.

Like the match itself, if both men play to their full potential it really is difficult to separate them on any market.

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