John Higgins will face Yan Bingtao in Sunday’s final of the Masters after beating David Gilbert 6-4 in their last-four clash in Milton Keynes.
Gilbert hit the ground running with an 80 break to win the first frame 100-37, and Higgins then grabbed a century to level straight back at 1-1.
Gilbert and the Scot then swapped frames to take the score to 2-2, before Higgins grabbed another 107 to go one frame ahead.
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In the sixth frame, Higgins went two ahead with a half-century in what proved to be a high-scoring semi-final.
England’s Gilbert pulled one back in the seventh frame, with the game poised at 4-3, before he squeezed into a tie at 4-4 as he took the frame 59-56.
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A frame win in the ninth for Higgins left him just one away from victory and Gilbert suddenly found himself on the brink and under real pressure.
A cagey safety battle ensued at the start of the 10th frame, but eventually the 45-year-old pulled away to take it and close out a fine victory.
Watch Higgins close out victory 'in style' over Gilbert to reach final
Higgins will now take on the unlikely star of the tournament, Yan, who earlier in the day
overcame defending champion Stuart Bingham
The 20-year-old rising star impressed Eurosport expert Ronnie O'Sullivan so much he said he thought it could be a
groundbreaking result for Chinese snooker
O'Sullivan: Yan win a 'significant result for Chinese snooker'
Full Masters schedule First round Sunday January 10 Kyren Wilson 6-2 Gary Wilson (1pm) Joe Perry 2-6 David Gilbert (7pm) Monday January 11 Stuart Bingham 6-4 Thepchaiya Un-Nooh (1pm) Shaun Murphy 6-4 Mark Williams (7pm) Tuesday January 12 Neil Robertson 5-6 Yan Bingtao (1pm) Mark Selby 3-6 Stephen Maguire (7pm) Wednesday January 13 Ronnie O'Sullivan 6-5 Ding Junhui (1pm) John Higgins 6-5 Mark Allen (7pm) Quarter-finals Thursday January 14 David Gilbert 6-5 Kyren Wilson (1pm) Stuart Bingham 6-3 Shaun Murphy (7pm) Friday January 15 Stephen Maguire 5-6 Yan Bingtao (1pm) John Higgins 6-3 Ronnie O'Sullivan (7pm) Semi-finals Saturday January 16 Stuart Bingham 5-6 Yan Bingtao (1pm) David Gilbert 4-6 John Higgins (7pm) Final Sunday January 17 John Higgins v Yan Bingtao (1pm, 7pm)
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