Snooker: New dad Fu reaches first final since 2008

Hong Kong's Marco Fu reached his first major final since 2008 on Saturday and credited his run at the German Masters to becoming a father for the first time.

The 35-year-old Fu defeated England's Barry Hawkins 6-4 to set up a final meeting with Ali Carter who beat Australia's former world champion Neil Robertson 6-2 in his semi-final.

Fu's wife Shirley gave birth to their first baby, a girl called Alicia, on December 22 in London.

"My preparation was not great for this tournament, I only practised about a third as much as I normally do. There have been some sleepless nights," said Fu, whose only previous title came at the 2007 Masters.

"Maybe the baby has helped because it takes my mind off things. Usually in the players room we're just talking about snooker, but now I'm talking to the other guys about babies."

Carter will be aiming for the third ranking title of his career after the 2009 Welsh Open and 2010 Shanghai Masters.

The Englishman, who almost quit the sport in 2011 after suffering from a loss of form and the effects of Crohn's disease, had a worrying start to the tournament when his cue went missing on the flight to Berlin.

"I tweeted BA (British Airways) to say 'cheers' and got a direct message back to say they were on case. Luckily the cue arrived on a later flight and was delivered to the venue by taxi an hour before my first match," said Carter.