Ronnie O’Sullivan takes on Zhang Anda for a place in the 2023 International Championship final in Tianjin on Saturday.
The popular pair go head-to-head for the right to face Tom Ford in Sunday’s final at the Tianjin People’s Stadium.
Both are appearing at this stage of the competition for the first time as they bid to remain in contention to become the seventh different winner of the lucrative ranking title.
O’Sullivan eased his way through his held over qualifying round match against Ken Doherty, recovering from losing the first frame to reel off six in a row for a commanding victory.
He then hit back from 2-0 down to see off Mark Joyce 6-3 with the aid of three clinical century breaks, before dispatching Jak Jones 6-4 in the Last 32.
The Rocket reeled off four frames in a row to overcame Anthony McGill 6-2 and was forced to dig deep and battle his way past rival Ali Carter 6-4 in the Quarter-Finals.
O’Sullivan’s tournament appearances have almost exclusively all come in China this season, with the exception of a Third Round exit at the English Open on home soil in Essex a month ago.
The Rocket retained the Shanghai Masters invitational title in September and was a quarter-finalist at the Wuhan Open, before withdrawing from the recent Northern Ireland Open.
The seven-time World Champion had previously not been beyond the Quarter-Final stage of this event but is now in new territory as he hunts down a first ranking title since the 2022 World Championship and what would be a 40th in total.
Zhang, meanwhile, has continued his sensational start to the season, having recently finished runner-up in the English Open, squandering a 7-3 lead to Judd Trump in the final.
The 31-year-old, an ever-present on the tour for the past decade, is enjoying the best spell of his career and has turned on the style with a series of spellbinding displays on home soil this week.
The world number 37 opened up with a 6-3 win over Mark Williams in the Last 64, before overcoming Liam Pullen and Lyu Haotian by the same scoreline.
He continued in that vein by dispatching multiple ranking event winner Ding Junhui 6-3 in the Quarter-Finals, taking his tally of centuries to six for the tournament.
Zhang now faces O’Sullivan for the fifth time, with his 4-2 success in last month’s English Open ending a run of three straight defeats.
The match gets under way from 6.30am GMT for a total of eight frames, before resuming to a finish over the best of 17 from 11.30am.
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