BEIJING, March 27 -- A brilliant clearance in the eighth frame helped Marco Fu of Hong Kong, China to stun former world champion Stephen Hendry of Britain 5-4 at the 2007 China Open snooker tournament here on Tuesday.
Hendry had come from 3-1 down to lead 4-3 thanks to breaks of 108, 53 and 54. He looked set for victory in the next after a run of 58.
But Fu knocked in a long red and compiled a superb 72 clearance, finding his target with several awkward pots including the last red along the side cushion into a baulk corner.
The crucible semi-finalist then clinched victory in the decider with a break of 63.
"I felt confident because I prepared well for the match," said world number 22 Fu.
"I still think Stephen is a great player on his day but he is not as consistent as he used to be," added Fu.
Graeme Dott, the 888.com world champion, enjoyed smooth progress with a 5-2 defeat of Thailand's James Wattana.
The Scot made a 62 clearance to take the first frame and a 99 to go 3-0 up. Wattana got back to 3-2 with 83 and 73 but Dott took the next two with 75 and 46.
Dott endured a nightmare at the 2002 China Open when he missed his connecting flight then over-slept for his opening match against Darren Morgan. Despite getting dressed so quickly that he didn't have time to put on his underpants, he was docked two frames and eventually lost 5-3.
This time, the player currently ranked second in the provisional rankings behind Ken Doherty, is sure to fare better.
"I don't usually do well in this event but I'm determined to do so this time," said Dott.
John Higgins came from 2-1 down to beat Ian McCulloch, finishing with breaks of 61, 110 and 82.
Neil Robertson, aiming to win his third ranking event of the season, recovered from the loss of the first frame to beat Michael Holt 5-1. The Australian made 141 in frame four, equaling his career best and setting a new target for the event's high break prize.