Mark Williams and Jack Lisowski go head-to-head in a mouth-watering opening Masters Semi-Final at Alexandra Palace on Saturday.
The two mercurial left-handers collide in front of a sell-out crowd in the capital for the right to reach the sport’s most prestigious invitational fixture.
Williams is a player who is no stranger to this stage of The Masters, making his sixth Semi-Final appearance, while Lisowski is entering uncharted territory as he prepares for his first.
Williams, who made his Masters debut back in 1995, has rolled back the years once again to remain in contention for a third title – 20 years on from his most recent.
The 47-year-old opened up with a dominant 6-2 victory over David Gilbert, before recovering from 3-0 and 4-2 down to defeat seven-time champion Ronnie O’Sullivan in a deciding frame epic on Thursday.
The Welshman is making his second successive Semi-Final appearance at this atmospheric venue, having narrowly lost out 6-5 to eventual champion Neil Robertson 12 months ago.
He has racked up four centuries so far this week, including a 143 – the joint highest tournament break alongside Judd Trump and Hossein Vafaei.
Lisowski, meanwhile, has preserved his best form for a Triple Crown event once again, following on from his landmark run to the Semi-Finals of the UK Championship last month.
The six-time ranking event finalist knocked out John Higgins 6-3 to register his first Masters win at the fourth time of asking, before dispatching debutant Vafaei 6-4.
The world number 12 remains one of the best players yet to secure a professional title and will be daring to dream of ending that wait in fairy-tale fashion this weekend.
The pair have met on six previous occasions, claiming three wins apiece, but this marks their most high-profile encounter to date by some distance.
The match gets under way from 1pm GMT and will be contested over the best of 11 frames, with either Judd Trump or Stuart Bingham awaiting the winner in Sunday’s final.
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