Barry Hawkins saw off Judd Trump in a deciding-frame shootout to secure his place in the final of the Masters.
Hawkins, 42, will play Neil Robertson following the Australian’s extraordinary win in the opening semi-final at Alexandra Palace
Hawkins executed a fine 124 break to take a 4-2 lead only for Trump to race to the next three frames and move within one of the winning post.
But Hawkins struck back with a silky 76 to ensure the second final-frame decider of the day.
Trump took on a long opening red but missed and Hawkins made no mistake with a break of 58 to book his spot in Sunday’s showpiece.
“I am speechless,” said Hawkins. “I felt so nervous at the end. I cannot believe it but I am so pleased.
“The hairs on the back of my neck are standing up. I cannot describe it. It is the best feeling ever and the best atmosphere I have ever played in and I cannot wait for tomorrow.”
Hawkins reached the final in 2016 but was beaten 10-1 by Ronnie O’Sullivan.
On Sunday he faces Robertson, who earlier delivered a remarkable fightback against Mark Williams in their last-four clash.
Robertson, 39, trailed 4-1 and 5-3 before taking the best-of-11 encounter to a concluding frame with a brilliant break of 119.
He required two snookers in a nail-biting decider – the second of which he duly received when Williams, 29 clear with 27 remaining, hit the green as he tried to swerve for the yellow.
Robertson, who has won the Masters title just once – beating Shaun Murphy a decade ago – then held his nerve to cross the finish line.
Fighting back tears, the world number four, said: “Never give up, never ever give up. It doesn’t matter how it looks.
“To have a match that finishes like that, you will probably never see that ever again in the sport.
“It was absolutely incredible and it is going to take some hours for that to sink in. It has to be one of the best comebacks of my career.
“The tension was so high and I played a really good snooker on the yellow. The green was one of the best pressure balls I have ever knocked in in my career. And I managed to hold myself together at the end.
“I almost feel as if I have got nothing to lose because I was out of the tournament, so it might make me a bit of dangerous man tomorrow.”
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