Judd Trump set up a dream date with Ronnie O’Sullivan in the 2019 Masters final after a 6-4 victory over Neil Robertson at Alexandra Palace on Saturday.
The former UK Champion and World Championship finalist defied two centuries from the Australian to win through to his first Masters final and confirm a show-down with his great rival.
Trump defeated O’Sullivan in the final of November’s Northern Ireland Open and admitted: “I would rather have played someone easier!
“I have to go out and enjoy it. I see it as a challenge when other players might get scared of playing him. My record against him speaks for itself and I rise to the occasion.
“I am going to have to raise my game by 50% to get close to Ronnie on Sunday, the way he has been playing, but I am in with a fighting chance.
“I don’t have anything to lose. After this performance, I don’t think anyone expects me to get close. The way Ronnie has been playing, I hope I can take the game to him and go for my shots with confidence.
“He will have massive crowd support so I am going to have to deal with that as well.”
Trump got off to a flying start against Robertson, firing in consecutive breaks of 86 and 73 to open up a 2-0 lead.
Robertson took frame three to halve the deficit before producing a wonderful 127 clearance for parity at the interval.
Back-to-back breaks of 61 and 60 saw Trump restore a two-frame advantage before a scrappy seventh went the way of the Australian as he closed the gap to 4-3 behind.
Trump responded with a break of 68 to forge daylight again but only for Robertson to reply with his second 127 break of the match to prolong the contest.
Trump, though, dominated frame ten to get over the line and break new ground in front of a 1,900-strong Ally Pally crowd.