John Higgins does battle with Noppon Saengkham in Edinburgh on Saturday for a place in this year’s Scottish Open final.
The second semi-final at the Meadowbank Sports Centre pits the home favourite against a crowd favourite, with Gary Wilson awaiting the victor in Sunday’s showpiece.
Higgins finds himself in familiar territory in his home event. Runner-up to Marco Fu and Luca Brecel in 2016 and 2021 respectively, this is his fourth appearance in the semi-finals.
It is also his 83rd in ranking tournaments, in which his last victory came during that dominant week at the 2021 Players Championship.
The only member of the top 16 still standing, the four-time World champion will sense a genuine opportunity to end his drought this weekend.
Higgins dropped just a single frame in his victories over Oliver Brown and He Guoqiang, before battling past Ricky Walden in a deciding frame and seeing off Lyu Haotian 4-2.
He then held his nerve after Tom Ford recovered from 3-0 down to level their quarter-final at 3-3, winning the last two frames to get over the line.
Meanwhile, Saengkham is gearing up for his fifth ranking semi-final, as he looks to reach his first final.
Ironically, his only previous venture to this stage of a Home Nations event came at the 2018 Welsh Open – a tournament won by Higgins.
The world number 26 is enjoying his best performance of the season, having taken out Lukas Kleckers, Ali Carter and Matthew Selt before ending Sanderson Lam’s record-breaking run at a ranking event in the last eight.
Play gets under way at 7pm GMT on Saturday and will be contested over the best of 11 frames at the Meadowbank Sports Centre in Edinburgh.
18+ | T&Cs Apply | Geo restrictions may apply | Be Gamble Aware