Tom Ford battled from behind and posted a trio of consecutive centuries to beat Jordan Brown 9-6 and book his place in the International Championship final, where he could face Ronnie O’Sullivan.
World No. 1 O’Sullivan is in action on Saturday in Tianjin in the other semi-final, where he will play China’s 37th-ranked Zhang Anda.
Brown started relentlessly against Ford, knocking in breaks of 75 and 117 to earn a quick two-frame cushion.
He then edged the third frame to stretch his lead further, but a break of 69 in response from Ford reduced the deficit to two at the mid-session interval.
That fourth frame sparked an early fightback from Ford, who rallied back to level the match 3-3.
Brown quickly restored his lead but he wasn’t back in front for long as Ford racked up a century to pull level once more at the end of the first session.
The match was just as tightly contested at the start of the next session.
Brown produced a fine break of 134 to lead 5-4, but despite his impressive numbers throughout, struggled to pull away from Ford, who kept within touching distance.
Then Ford turned it on, slamming home three consecutive centuries – 133, 101 and 109 – to not only take the lead for the first time, but to move within a frame of victory.
Early in the next frame, Ford took his eye off the ball and missed a straightforward red to hand control to Brown, who had been no more than a spectator for the previous three frames.
However, Brown was rusty when he returned to the table. He sunk an easy red before rattling the jaws of the middle pocket on the blue to give Ford the chance to close out the match.
Ford ferociously split the pack as he eyed the finish line, and worked his way through the rest of the table to confirm his spot in Sunday’s final.
He is in red-hot form going into Sunday’s final, having already beaten Mark Selby and European Masters champion Barry Hawkins in the earlier stages of the tournament.