Neil Robertson aims to avoid becoming Joe O’Connor’s latest scalp when they face off in the Scottish Open semi-finals on Saturday.
A showdown with Gary Wilson in the showpiece awaits the winner of the second last-four clash at the Meadowbank Sport Centre in Edinburgh.
Free-scoring Wilson advanced to his third ranking final after a 6-4 victory over Thepchaiya Un-Nooh earlier on, hitting breaks of 130, 122, 115, 88 and 64 along the way.
Robertson will look to join the Tyneside Terror in Sunday’s showpiece, as he aims to become the joint-most successful player in Home Nations history by levelling with Judd Trump on four titles.
The Scottish Open champion in 2017, the Thunder is also looking to join Mark Selby as one of two multiple winners since the event returned to the calendar the previous year.
Robertson has won seven successive matches since his surprise first-round UK Championship defeat to good friend Joe Perry last month, while dropping just seven frames this week.
Perry, Mark Davis, Himanshu Jain and Anthony McGill were all dispatched, before breaks of 133, 100, 99, 83 sealed a 5-2 win in his high-quality quarter-final encounter with Selby.
But while a huge favourite to prevail, Robertson will not take anything for granted against O’Connor, who is appearing in only his second ranking semi-final – three years after his previous such appearance at the Welsh Open.
The world number 55 has certainly ended his wait in style, having already beaten Zhao Xintong, Ding Junhui, Mark Williams and Ricky Walden.
O’Connor had only reached one ranking quarter-final since his run to the last four in Wales three years ago – achieving the feat at the 2021 German Masters – but is now one more upset away from reaching his maiden final.
Play gets underway at 7pm GMT on Saturday with the match contested over the best of 11 frames at the Meadowbank Sport Centre in Edinburgh.