Ding Junhui held off a late comeback from Tom Ford to win 6-3 and move just one step away from winning a fourth UK Championship title.
The Chinese player was 5-0 up and looked set for another whitewash, as he had done against Ronnie O’Sullivan in the quarter-finals, but Ford won three frames in a row to make it 5-3.
Ding, who was the 38th seed coming into the tournament, eventually got over the line and will play Jack Lisowski or Mark Allen in the final on Sunday.
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Similarly to his thrashing over O’Sullivan, Ding won two scrappy frames to take a 2-0 lead.
Ford struggled to settle as the nerves of being in just his second career Triple Crown semi-final showed with poor misses on the green and red to level things up.
Another positional error from Ford in the third frame when on a break of 26 wasn’t punished, but a missed black along the top cushion was, which gave Ding a three-frame lead.
Ding turned the screw, after some fortune from his opening red dropping into the pocket off the pack of reds gave him an opportunity to make a big break.
He potted a beautiful red into the right middle with the cue ball on the cushion and went on to make a comfortable 84, heading into the mid-session interval full of confidence.

Ford offers cue to referee after more frustration

Ford had a great opportunity when he potted a long red but missed a simple pink, to the groans of the crowd.
Ding took advantage by stepping in with a clinical clearance of 62 to move within one frame of reaching the final.
Although Ford was frustrated by poor positioning again in the sixth frame, he jokingly offered his cue to referee Marcel Eckardt.
He used his annoyance by potting a stunning red into the yellow pocket and made a break of 77 to win the frame which got one of the biggest cheers of the afternoon at the Barbican.
Ding missed his first chance to win the match when he hit a red during his attempt to pot the pink and this time Ford hit back with a delightful break of 64 to make it 5-2.
After taking the eighth as well, momentum was now with Ford and he was on course for a 147 in the ninth, although it would have been tricky given where the reds are. However, he missed a simple red when just two more pots away from winning the frame, as he broke down on 64.
Ding got back to make it 64-37 on points in the frame, and an error from Ford saw a red clip off the blue and over the left middle pocket.
As expected, Ding resisted the pressure and cleared the table to finally get over the line after a small scare.
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