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Last Updated: Wednesday, 16 January 2008, 00:11 GMT
Masters day three as it happened
Tuesday's first-round results:

Neil Robertson (Aus) 5-6 Marco Fu (HK)
68-29 (63) 118-0 (118) 39-89 (89) 58-77 (71) 0-91 (69) 2-108 (100) 77-46 56-21 31-78 70-40 (53) 43-55

Ken Doherty (Ire) 6-2 Mark Williams (Wal)
12-118 (118) 27-90 (69) 101-1 (101) 73-38 89-0 (89) 81-53 (53) 75-13 (68) 79-13

To get involved use 606 or text us your views & comments on 81111. (Not all contributions can be used)

By Sam Lyon

0008: He can! What an epic - and it's Fu that comes through... just. After four hours and 25 minutes, the Hong Kong cueman clears the table to snatch the final frame 43-55 and he will now face either Ding Junhui or John Higgins. I'm heading off for a stiff drink, jubbly.

0006: It's Fu that gets the yellow... can he now nail the rest of the colours...?

"Whoever gets the yellow wins this match for me."
BBC Sport's John Virgo

0003: Anyone Fu-lish enough to think the Hong Kong cueman would cruise it... were just being silly. The cue arm is tense and it's back to a tactical exchange with just the colours on the table.

0000: Four hours and 18 minutes into the match and Robertson buckles, his attempted safety rolling a red up and down the table and over the green pocket - this is now Fu's to lose.

2354: It's 43-15, it's tense and it's anybody's to win...

2342: It's not an opening he can make the most of, though, and he is forced back to baulk when he loses position off the pink.

2340: Touch of fortune for Fu as he sinks a long red and flicks off pink and blue to leave himself on the colours nicely...

2336: Robertson takes control of the 11th frame. The Aussie leads 41-0, before he gently touches the green as he goes for safety.

2331: Robertson levels it up. A fortunate snooker puts Fu under pressure and the Aussie responds with a clearance to brown to take it to a decider.

2324: Safeties. This is blooming tense.

2320: Ber-limey, Fu gets back in, again looks set to go on and win it, again misses a simple pot - but then flukes a snooker behind the brown with the colours remaining. He is 17 points behind.

2317: Would you Adam it. Fu, looking odds-on to produce a match-winning break, goes in-off the blue when he is still 26 points behind and we're looking at another spell of safety.

2311: Well he might just have more than a look as he squeezes a red in, holes a pink, and now the balls look placed for the Hong Kong potter to make a march...

2307: It's a decent break from the Aussie of 53, but it's not enough to win the frame on its own and a poor positional shot off a red allows Fu at least a look at the balls.

"Terry Griffiths and Cliff Thorburn would stil be a good four hours from finishing the match now."
wildJONESEYE on 606

2300: It's Fu who errs first in frame 10 as his attempted containing safety down the left-hand side leaves Robertson a pot to the right corner, and it's a chance the Aussie grabs with both hands...

2256: Fu makes it 5-4 with two to play with a lovely break of 26, including a doubled red into the yellow pocket, and maybe we will get done before Valentine's Day after all...

2252: A break of 31 for Robertson but in trying to develop a red on the left cushion he leaves himself a tough long pot, misses, and lets Fu right back in.

2247: ...and he makes a neat break of 42 before running out of position and forcing a pot to middle against the near jaw. Robertson eyes up his options.

2241: Fu gets the first break, sliding in a red...

2238: Frame nine gets underway and the pair sink straight back into a tactical exchange. You can't help but feel Fu has slowed Robertson down to his pace in this evening session.

2236: And he can. A run of 19 is enough to seal the frame and level the match. The contest breaks the three-hour mark and the last two have taken over a third of that. I say we've had the tactical, subtle stuff - now let's get back to hundred breaks and what not...

2234: The Hong Kong potter misses a blue, though, and surely (don't call me Shirley) Robertson can wrap this frame up now...

2231: Yip. Fu gets out of position off a red and that's end of break. Not wishing to be outdone on the missing stakes, Robertson jaws a red in reply, and Fu is back at the table.

2229: That said, the little man sinks a lovely cut red and he has his hand on the table. Not that I expect it to last the way the last few frames have gone...

2228: Excellent pot to the right corner from Robertson, bouncing off a red by the pocket to squeeze the potting angle, but he can only make 14 before it's end of break again. Nothing obvious on for Fu, though, who trails by 30 in this frame.

"I'm really enjoying this match! Hopefully it will go all the way!"
Kriss_boy on 606

2224: Indeed the Australian makes just a few pots before he fires a shot-to-nothing red wide of the green corner pocket. Ho hum.

2223: And as Virgo says that Robertson pulls off a nice long red. He will have to pull out something a bit special to build a real break of note with the reds all bunched along the bottom cushion, though.

"The connoisseurs will appreciate these long safety exchanges. Others will want to be seeing more pots."
BBC Sport's John Virgo

2214: Robertson flukes in a red off a fortunate ricochet off the blue and tucks Fu in behind the green. The Hong Kong cueman escapes well, though. Safeties.

2210: Story of the last hour or two there - a cracking long red into the green pocket from Fu but he doesn't finish on a red. Groan. Robertson's attempt at a four-cushion escape is, frankly, a bit rubbish. Groan. Fu then pots the red and snookers himself on a colour. Groan. It's like last night's error-fest all over again all of a sudden...

"I don't know how Robbo is still in the match because that's was Fu's chance to finish him off."
GJtheaussiestud on 606

2203: Robertson finally takes advantage of a frame-winning chance and ends Fu's four-frame winning streak with a run of 32 to the pink and nigeweir's tip that Saj, myself and the rest of us will be here til the early hours is looking all the more premonitory...

2200: This is a strange one, this frame, and Fu puts just 28 on before missing a red to the corner. Neither player seems keen to win this one outright...

2157: Another Robertson safety error and Fu slams home the long red to get among the balls and this looks like being a key, key frame either way.

2153: Once again, Robertson gets in and once again, Robertson gets himself out. A simple pot to middle jaws and flies away, and with his lead at just 45-18, the Australian knows this frame is far from over.

2146: It's 13-18 and we're in the middle of a lengthy safety exchange. Robertson is still struggling, to be honest, he looks a little shell-shocked after that Fu four-frame rally.

2138: No is the simple answer. Robertson misses a simple blue to the middle pocket and his head drops. The frame remains wide open, though.

2137: Or at least it should have been, Fu leaves one too near the cushion and his following black jaws and goes awry. Can Robertson get back into the match at this visit?

2135: Robertson leaves a safety shot short and Fu is no mood to let those sort of opportunities pass... he drills in a red, clips a fine blue in and, yet again, this is a chance...

"Don't write off Robbo yet, I still maintain what I said earlier - and that is that Saj and Sam are in for a long shift. This one is going to the final ball."
nigeweir on 606

2129: Simply brilliant from Fu, negotiating his way through the most awkward of packs to red-pink his way to a dreamy break of 100 and that's four on the spin for the Hong Kong cueman.

2121: That's how it proves as well, with Fu able to squeeze Robertson's attempted escape through the pack and he's in the balls...

2119: And, as if spurred on by 2005me's call, Fu sinks his first red of the frame and... wait for it... two pots later he hides the white behind the green. It's a really tough snooker, though, and Robertson will do well to escape from this and not leave his opponent on.

"Come on Fu!!!!!!!!!!!!!"
2005me on 606

2114: Robertson strikes first, slamming a red into the left corner, but he can't get on a colour and, guess what? We're back to safeties. Eighteen minutes in and it's 2-0 Robertson...

2110: Yes, it's still a safety battle. It's a tricky one with a gathering of reds on the left hand side making it tough to get back to baulk and the first one to crack may well concede the frame...

2104: It's safety, safety, safety at the moment which, while giving me a bit of breathing space at my keyboard, is more for the purists watching than the fly-by-nights reading it on the web or WAP. Not that that applies to any of you I'm sure...

2058: It's three on the spin for Marco Fu, who has hit his straps nicely after that early assault from Robertson. A break of 69 for the wildcard qualifier and Robertson will be hoping to get his hand back on the table sooner rather than later...

2051: ...he only gets as far as 22 before a pot goes awry, but he is fortunate with his white position and Robertson can't take advantage. Instead Fu sinks a red to re-start his break and we're back with the Hong Kong cueman as favourite...

2047: And Fu leaps on the Aussie's break-off with a lovely long red to left corner. He is then forced into the pack nice and early, it splits nicely for him, and this is a chance...

2045: Play resumes with Robertson breaking off...

"You'd be Fu-lish in thinking Marco was hurt earlier."
mylittlefriedegg on 606

"Big, big frame that for Fu."
BBC Sport's John Virgo

2027: Fu turns it around! The little man pounces on a missed pink from Robertson to pot and level the match up. A frame win snatched from the jaws of a, erm, frame win there from Fu and I can't help but think that might be a vital one for him to have won. That's the mid-session interval, I'm off for a brew...

2026: He can't! He rolls the white behind the pink and Robertson can level with pink and black and send the frame to a re-spotted black... Excellent effort this from the Aussie...

2024: Strange decision - Robertson clears to pink, hoping for a snooker on the pink with just the black on the table - and yet he may just have pulled it off with a brilliant effort, tucking the cue ball behind the black. Can Fu escape?

2021: Robertson pulls the deficit back to 41 points with 35 on the table and now the tactical battle begins...

2017: A slip from Fu on a tight red to the right corner ends a break of 71 but Robertson plays on with four reds on the table and two snookers needed.

"Good effort from Fu in the third and it looks like he's in among the balls again."
BBC Sport's Saj Chowdhury

2008: A cracking safety from Fu forces the error from Robertson, the Aussie failing to get back to baulk, and Hong Kong's finest is back in again...

2007: ...Not that it's interrupted Robertson's stride one bit early in frame four, the Australian slamming home a dreamy long red to the left corner. Unfortunately for the world number seven, he gets far too much action on his subsequent blue and it's back to safeties...

2001: Admirable fightback from Fu - the Hong Kong cueman clearing up with a splendid 89 to get right back into this match at 2-1 down.

1957: Yep - Virgo's bokked him. Why doesn't he have such an impact when the Aussies are playing cricket, huh? Anyway, Robertson's break of 39 is ended when he loses position on the black, overscrews on the subsequent shot and then misses the yellow. Big chance for Fu and he has to make this count you feel.

"This is break-making of the highest order from Robertson and you wonder if and how Fu can go about competing with it."
BBC Sport's John Virgo

"Would like to see a Fu v Ding quarter-final, but i am going for a Robertson win 6-4."
Dennis Taylor's optician via text

1952: By way of contrast, Robertson doesn't even need half a chance to get going and a long ol' red gets him going again. The way he's been cueing so far, not many would bet against him wrapping this up at this visit...

1948: Oh dear, even when he does get a chance to get amongst it, Fu can't see it through. A cracking pot with the rest continues a mini break early on but he is forced to play safe when it runs behind the yellow.

1945: Well well well, only one player has settled here so far and that man is not sit-there-and-wonder-when-you-might-get-a-shot Fu, it's blonde bombshell Robertson. The Aussie follows up his fine first-frame break with a soup-herb run of 118 to open up a two-frame lead and this match will be done before you can say Ronnie Who? at this rate.

1935: Fu's break-off is not particularly clever and Robertson will get among the balls first again...

"Saj and Sam? Sounds like a failed act from X-Factor."
BBC Sport's Saj Chowdhury at Wembley

"I hope Saj and Sam have plenty of coffee at hand. This is going to be quite a shift lol."
nigeweir on 606

1930: It's not really going Fu's way in the opening frame and as the snookers required goes to three and then four, the wild card qualifier concedes.

1926: Lovely opening break from Neil Robertson of 63, the Australian slipping into his groove nice and early. He misses a red to the left corner with his opponent needing two snookers, but Fu plays on...

1919: After over 12 minutes of safety and the odd pot-then-snooker, Fu errs to give Robertson a chance with his hand on the table. He's red-black and the balls looks pretty well placed...

1911: Marco Fu pulls off a cracking snooker behind the yellow, Robertson takes over two minutes to decide on his shot... and it's worth the wait as the Aussie rolls up to the bunch off two cushions for a fine escape. Edgy start to this match so far.

"Gonna be a cracker this one, I'm going for 6-5 but have no idea who will nick it."
nigeweir on 606

1905: The introductions are done and dusted, Neil Robertson breaks off, and we're underway...

1855: I'm back peeps! Only just, though, after a decidedly off-colour Chorizo stir-fry from her majesty's BBC canteen. Just for the record, Chorizo's a sausage right? Not, like, a flat vegetable pancake? Thought so. Unfortunately, the canteen's chef did not agree...

Anyway, after this afternoon's cracker between Doherty and Williams, we're all hoping for more of the same from Neil Robertson and Marco Fu. I'm feeling good about this one...

As always, get your texts to 81111 and 606 chat coming in and you could see your name, wait for it, on the world famous BBC Sport website! That's one to tell the grandkids I tell ya...

And, once again, if you're reading this on the website, don't forget you can watch the action live, just click on the link below.

1645: Word from Saj at Wembley is that Williams has hinted he will retire from snooker if he fails to make the top 32 next season.

"This is the best I've seen Doherty play for a good three or four years. The pot success, the safety success, the positional play - it's all up there with the best and he looks good enough to beat anybody in this form."
BBC Sport's Willie Thorne

1626: It's all over - Doherty wraps it up with a break of 38. A terrific contest and one that was a lot closer than the 6-2 scoreline suggests. Williams can take comfort from the fact that he played so well, while Doherty looks to have come away from this match not just with a victory, but with a confidence boost that could well see him emerge as a real contender for this trophy. Shaun Murphy is next up for him in the second round, that should be a cracker.

1623: Or maybe it isn't... Williams misses a red to the corner, Doherty slams a long one home into the same pocket, and the way the Irishman is cueing, no-one in Wembley Arena will bet against the Darling of Dublin wrapping this up...

1622: Well - Williams's boat is not quite sunk just yet... Doherty's break ends on 33 and with a lead of just 20, this frame is still wide open.

1616: And it looks like Doherty who has the chance to get a score on the board first... Williams might be staring down the barrel here...

1611: Williams desperately needs something a little bit special... and he also needs a little more luck than he got going into the pack just then... he's 13 points to the good, thanks in the main to a terrific pink, but whoever comes out best from this tactical exchange will fancy their chances of a big break.

"Ruthless again from Doherty. He's showing the kind of form needed to steer him to a title which has previously eluded him."
The Boss on 606

1609: Doherty is looking so much better than his provisional world 16 ranking right now and he breezes to a break of 68 to secure the frame and go three up with four to play. Williams's pot success rate is 90% at the moment - "Good enough to win eight out of 10 matches on the circuit usually" says BBC Sport's Willie Thorne - but Doherty's is above 95% and he is looking unstoppable.

1602: A few toe's and froe's without a real break go begging for both players, but Doherty is in now with the reds spread and this is a chance in my book. What book that is anyone's guess - suggestions please to 81111 for texts or on 606.

1555: Williams, seven points to the good thanks to a long red and then snooker on the pink, slams home a brilliant red to the corner despite being hampered by the green and looks well placed to go on... only to lose the white a touch and it's end of break.

"Definite turning point in the match there. Free ball to Doherty just when Williams looked like taking the frame, and Ken goes 4-2 ahead. 16/1 for Doherty to win the tournament looks very appealing..."
RebelArmyRedDevil(aka RARD)(Match Thread Man)(MUFC - The Religion) *United > Kids > Wife - In That Order* on 606

"Williams has made a monumental mistake in that frame - missing the red, hitting the pink and leaving a free ball was a catastrophic error and the difference between 3-3 and 4-2 in a best of 11 is huge."
BBC Sport's John Parrott

1550: ...and get on it he can, Doherty going on to clear up with a 35 break and that's four on the spin for the Irishman.

1548: Disaster! Williams fails to develop the last red, fouls on the pink next shot and gifts Doherty a free ball as a result. The Irishman sinks the brown and if he can get on the last red it will be a two-frame lead...

1546: It doesn't matter how good your safety play is, though, when your opponent can knock it in from any range and Williams - who has barely had any table time for an hour - spanks home a lovely red and goes on a run of 53 to get right back in the frame...

1538: A rare error from Doherty - the Irishman over-screwing a red off the rest and that's end of break at 33. He does his best to make amends with a terrific snooker behind the yellow, though, and his tactical success stands at 95% at the moment.

1535: There's no stopping Doherty at the moment - a superb long red into the right corner from Williams's break-off and he's in among the balls again.

1532: And what a resurgence it is... Doherty goes ahead in the match for the first time courtesy of a delicious break of 89. The Irishman made the most of a touch of good fortune when he played to return to baulk for brown and green, ricocheted off the pack and ended perfectly on the pink at one stage, but he took full advantage and the standard remains as high as ever following the interval.

1523: A missed long pot to the green pocket from Williams and Doherty has the chance to continue his resurgence...

1520: The players are back out and we'll be underway in two shakes of a rat's tail.

"Williams is at his 75% best, no more. Ken will punch him up when they resume. Ken for the Masters."
The Boss on 606

"This is the best match of the tournament so far....fantastic standard."
wildJONESEYE on 606

"Terrific standard of play, so far, and this pair really look to be bringing the best out of each other."
BBC Sport's Steve Davis

1500: It's only a couple of minutes of resistance from Williams, though, and an entertaining first session ends all-square. Jubbly.

1458: Doherty looks to have wrapped up the frame with a break of 22 but Williams plays on needing three four-point snookers with just the colours, less the yellow, on the table.

1456: A tricky cut red to the corner misses and Williams hands control back to Doherty after a run of 25.

1452: Unfortunate from Doherty who looks to have played a soup-herb safety off the rest - only to have missed a plant in the pack that Williams gleefully jumps on. The Welshman is at the table with his cue arm flowing nicely...

1451: Oops. Doherty goes on a run of 47 but runs a touch long off a screwed black and his following red jaws and stays out. It's 51-9 to the Irishman, though, and Williams does not have anything easy on...

1448: Williams errs next, and this time Doherty looks able to take advantage. The Irishman has the pack spread, the black available and the necessary footwear to hop on the good foot and do the bad thing here...

1444: A poor Doherty safety at the start of frame four and Williams goes red-brown, but with the pack tightly formed still, it's back to the tacticals...

"Sometimes players can inspire each other and that's what's happening out there. As I said before they came out, the pair of them were well out of form before the tournament but if you told a bystander these two were number one and two in the world right now they wouldn't bat an eyelid."
BBC Sport's Steve Davis

1438: A terrific break of 101 and Doherty pulls to within a frame. THIS is what the Masters is about people - not what that lot from Monday were playing at. This pair are both cueing beautifully and this is already by far the best match of the tournament so far.

1435: With a 50 break already on the board, Doherty goes into the pack... and it comes out very nicely indeed. That looks like the frame.

1427: This time Williams's potting does desert him and a tricky red to left middle hits the near jaw and goes away, leaving Doherty in with the reds nicely spread.

1424: Frame three gets underway and, again, it does so with a tactical exchange.

1420: Williams does better than well, he does fantastically. A break of 69 with the balls about as awkwardly placed as you could hope for and the Welshman clears up to take a two-frame lead. In case any of you without pictures are wondering what mcsilks is on about below, Doherty is sporting a kind of two-tone black-grey/white brogue and he does indeed look rather dashing. Unfortunately, for all the time at the table he's had so far, he may as well be sporting granddad slippers. Williams looks tip top ticketty-boo out there.

"I'm liking Ken's attire. He looks like a mob boss."
mcsilks on 606

1416: Williams is next up with a scoring chance courtesy of another fine snooker behind the yellow. The balls as they are, though, he will do well to win it at this visit.

1413: Williams buckles first, Doherty snookering him nicely behind the yellow and the Welshman leaving the pot on. An attempted three-ball reverse plant comes to nothing, though, and we're back to the safeties...

1408: The safety battle continues, with only the blue on its spot and seven reds tucked away by the right-hand cushion. We could be in for a lengthy ol' frame here.

1405: Neither player seems able to get in and stay in at the moment and an awkward drift on the table sees Williams foul attempting a safety back to baulk.

1401: Doherty gets his hand on the table for the first real time in the match but he, too, is unable to break the pack satisfactorily and is forced back to baulk with the score 12-13 in Williams's favour.

1359: Not a good sign for Doherty, the Irishman cueing across the white and missing a long red by a distance. He gets away with it, though, and then snookers Williams behind the green.

1356: Williams sinks a long red - there's nothing wrong with his potting game right now - but a run of 13 is ended when his attempt to go into the pack goes awry. A safety exchange ensues...

"Fantastic break from Williams. I think 'back to his best' claims are woefully premature though."
pythonbyte on 606

"We've all been looking at Williams in the recent past just wondering what is happening with him because he is such a talent. Well, maybe that frame is an indication that he is ready to show his best again here."
BBC Sport's John Parrott

1353: Well, my man Saj told you Williams was looking like getting back to form recently and early indications are that my north-East pal is 'pot (geddit?) on. Cool, calm and composed in and around the black and the Welshman glides to his first century break of the season. A run of 118 is the perfect start for Willy and let's hope this is a sign of things to come...

1343: Ber-limey, that's how to turn it around. Williams clips the pack nicely and snookers Doherty behind the yellow. Doherty's escape leaves the Welshman one to the corner and Williams will want to get a score here.

1342: Williams, having already fouled twice attempting a safety from the baulk end, has to make contact this time. The Welshman is certainly not looking comfortable at all yet.

1338: Williams - provisionally ranked 33rd in the world at the moment - does his best to get going with a long red, but it doesn't even get close and Doherty will get first use of the table after potting red to middle.

1335: Steve Davis gets back to what he does best these days - TV work - and does his little bit to utterly baffle Doherty and Williams with a piece of bizarre intro work for the BBC cameras before their official introduction into the Arena. We're moments away now, Doherty to break off...

"Tough matches to call today. Doherty has the better recent record over Williams at the Masters so I would narrowly favour him. Robertson is so unpredictable....seemingly an Australian trait but his 'B' game should be enough to see off Fu."
mcsilks on 606

1330: Gung-ga-ga-dunga-da-da-ga-dung...bang bom bang! Ah the BBC snooker theme tune - they don't come much better! It's always amused me that one of TV's funkiest pieces of intro music is used on, well, the snooker. And Ski Sunday for that matter. Bootiful and yet weird at the same time.

Anyway, if you're reading this on the website, don't forget you can watch the action live rather than having to put up with my inane ramblings, just click on the link below.

"I think Wembley Arena should be the venue for the world championships; the Crucible is too small."
BusbyAces on 606

"What will Tuesday produce? Hopefully some decent action because the line-up is a bit tasty."
BBC Sport's Saj Chowdhury, who should be at Wembley by now

1320: A'noon ladies and gentleman! Two bumper matches for you this afternoon and despite Monday's matches closely resembling the Red Lion after-hours shoot-out on a Saturday night, I'm keeping my fingers firmly crossed for a step up in quality today.

First up is a real lip-smacker - two-time winner Mark Williams, who appears to have recaptured some form, faces two-time finalist Ken Doherty - while this evening sees Steve Davis's conqueror Marco Fu line up against Australia's golden boy Neil Robertson.

As always, get your texts to 81111 and 606 chat coming in and I will endeavour to get the best, and possibly the worst, up here.

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