John Higgins overcame a sluggish start to crush Yan Bingtao 6-2 and reach the final of the Northern Ireland Open.
Higgins had scar tissue against Yan, following his defeat to the Chinese youngster in last season’s Masters final, and a repeat looked on the cards as he fell two frames behind.
But Higgins did not panic, waited for his chances and took them in ruthless fashion to book his ticket to a 57th ranking final where he will meet Mark Allen following his win over Ricky Walden.
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Higgins complained about his tip following his quarter-final win over David Gilbert, suggesting it resembled a brick.
It did not appear to be a problem at the start of the opening frame as he compiled a break of 55, only to surprisingly miss a blue into the left middle - and Yan hoovered up a 66 to draw first blood.
Higgins was left feeling blue as he missed one for the second frame in succession, and Yan punished him to open up a two-frame lead.

Watch the moment Higgins seals victory over Yan to reach final

If Higgins had concerns about his tip or game, he settled some nerves in the third by rolling a pressure red into the left middle which set him up to get a frame on the board.
Higgins, whose previous best performance at the Northern Ireland Open was a run to the semi-finals last year, found his stride with an impressive break of 83 to draw level.
The 46-year-old took confidence into the interval, and it showed with a stunning red to seal the fifth frame. After opening up a lead, the Scot handed a chance to Yan and a safety battle ensued.
Yan had the upper hand for a large portion of it, but he left Higgins a sighter at a long red into the yellow pocket. It was fiendishly difficult, but the red never touched the sides - which drew a huge roar of approval from the crowd at the Waterfront Hall in Belfast.
Masters champion Yan had put on a clinic in long potting throughout the week, but that side of his game deserted him against Higgins on Saturday. He missed a red by a distance in the sixth and the Scot stepped in with a 78 to open up a two-frame lead.
The sight of Higgins in overdrive is frightening, and it seemed to unsettle Yan as he missed a simple blue when in with a chance in the seventh frame.
Higgins worked a sizeable advantage only to run out of position. He was faced with a long red similar to the one in the fifth frame. And as in the fifth, it never touched the sides as the four-time world champion made a break of 75 to make it five frames on the spin.
Higgins completed the win in some style, as a break of 90 set up a final with Allen on Sunday.
Allen, the home favourite, will have the majority of support - but he may need it if Higgins is in this sort of form.

'I can't wait' - Higgins pumped to face Allen in Belfast final showpiece

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