Marco Fu will head into Sunday’s World Open qualifier with youngster Chris Totten full of confidence after winning his first match in eight months at Kaspersky Riga Masters qualifying in Preston.
The 40-year-old was forced to miss several months of action last season due to an eye problem and underwent laser eye treatment for retinal degeneration in December.
The former world number five did make an appearance at the World Championship but lost in the first round at the Crucible to China’s Lyu Haotian and has been champing at the bit to get back into the thick of the action.
He takes on 19-year-old Scottish ace Totten, also in Preston, later this weekend and is priced at 1.12 to get the job done, with his opponent on offer at 5.50 to pull off a shock victory.
That match comes after he downed Elliot Slessor of England to book a clash with China’s Xiao Guodong in the first round of the Riga Masters, with the event starting on July 27 at the Arena Riga in Latvia.
The Hong Kong star was clearly relieved and delighted to get back on the green baize and took to Twitter to air his feelings.
“First match of the season, first win of the season, first win after my eye operation eight months ago, not a bad day in office,” he tweeted.
The veteran lost the opening frame against Slessor but then secured four in a row with breaks of 77 and 59 to give himself a real shot in the arm for Sunday’s match and beyond.