Sunday 14:00 & 20:00 - Ding Junhui v Marco Fu
This is the first time in a professional Snooker tournament that two Asian players are in the final, so there will be big audiences in the far east which will add extra pressure to these boys as well as extra on Ding because he lost 4-2 to Marco in the Asian Games final recently. Both players have come through some tough matches this week, upsetting the odds on several occasions and showing their top class to reach this final.
Ding Junhui showed his class straight off the bat dispatching the world no.3 Mark Williams 6-4, then an emphatic performance beating Graeme Dott 6-2 with three century breaks in the first four frames from the Chinaman. Last up was Masters newcomer Jamie Cope who showed signs of promise but Ding was too strong for him and he won that match 6-3.
Marco Fu had a slightly easier draw on paper but it he didn't have it all his way on route to the final. He narrowly saw off a Stephen Maguire comeback (including the tournament high break of 142) to beat him 6-4. He recorded the only whitewash of the tournament beating a slightly ill Peter Ebdon 6-0, then recovered from 4-1 back to take the next five frames in a row to beat Mark Allen in the semi-final.
The final has a change of format which makes it a best of 19 so the players need to win 10 frames to win the tournament. Who does this favour the most? Well Ding Junhui is commonly seen to start well in matches (the three centuries against Graeme Dott for example) but slow down as it goes on, and might be one of the reasons he has never gotten past the quarter finals of the World Championship. But Marco Fu in a recent interview says he has problems with getting tired by the end of long matches as well so it's a tough question to answer.
Based on the form over the tournament you would have to fancy Ding to win it, but Marco looked down and out in the Mark Allen match but ended up winning five frames in a row so you can't put him out of it either. If I have to make a prediction though, I slightly favour Ding Junhui to win the match and tournament as he will want to erase the memories of his 2006 Masters final last to O'Sullivan that he gets reminded off and bring the Masters trophy to China for the first time. I do fancy the match to go to at least 10-8 or 10-9 though, both players have been producing some cracking Snooker this week. (Ding to win 10-8).