Ryan Day said he was "embarrassed" with his performance despite progressing through to the British Open final with a gruelling 6-5 semi-final win over Robbie Williams in Milton Keynes.
The Welshman will face Mark Allen for the trophy on Sunday, after finding some rhythm to come back from two frames behind and win an error-strewn match that lasted more than three hours.
Day will compete for his fourth career ranking trophy against 2018 Masters champion Allen, who comfortably beat Noppon Saengkham 6-1 earlier in the day.
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"Neither me nor Robbie played well," said Day after the match.
"It was embarrassing. I was missing balls all night. I thought I started okay. Robbie made a good break in the second frame. It kind of went downhill from there.
"I didn't have an A, B, C or D game. All you can do is fight."
The 42-year-old got off to a good start by taking the opening frame, aided by a break of 55 that ultimately led to Williams conceding.
However, the world No. 61 fought back by taking the next frame with a break of 77 – the best either player mustered in the entire match – and clinching the following frame too to extend his lead.
Day snookered himself on the pink in frame four after potting the blue, an error that cost him the frame and left him trailing 3-1 and walking off shaking his head at the mid-session interval.
The two players traded frames to take the score to 4-2, but Day then found enough consistency to win the next three in a row to go 5-4 up and within touching distance of the final.
However, Williams struck back at the opportune moment, pouncing on an error from Day on the final red to force a deciding frame.
An early run of 26 gave the Englishman a handy lead, but Day responded with some excellent pots and eventually edged clear, puffing out his cheeks in relief when a slog of a match reached its conclusion.
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