Snooker legend Ronnie O'Sullivan beat home favourite Marco Fu 6-4 to win the Hong Kong Masters on Sunday in front of a record crowd estimated to be over 8,000.
The seven-time world champion held a comfortable early lead, only losing the second of the first five frames to Fu, who is ranked 100th in the world.
Cheered on by an energetic crowd, Fu brought the score to 4-2 with a 98 break, only to find O'Sullivan firing a century in response to take the next frame.
Fu fought from the brink of defeat to take the following two frames, but could not replicate the fairytale ending he conjured during Saturday's semi-final against John Higgins.
The 44-year-old compiled a maximum 147 break against Higgins in the deciding frame to storm into the final.
But he was outclassed by O'Sullivan, who played a 114 break to clinch the win.
Sunday's match capped off Hong Kong's first major international sports events since the pandemic began.
Organisers said Sunday's final, held in the cavernous Hong Kong Coliseum with more than 9,000 tickets sold, would set the record for the largest live snooker audience in history.
Fu, who reached a career best of world number five in 2017, subsequently saw his rankings slide as he struggled to overcome an eye illness and a two-year career hiatus due to the pandemic.
But he was buoyed on Sunday by enthusiastic local supporters, one of whom, Kenneth Yeung, said that Fu "represented Hong Kong to the world". (AFP)