Shaun Murphy and Robert Milkins go head-to-head in the final of the 2023 Welsh Open in Llandudno on Sunday.
The in-form duo will lock horns for the right to lift the prestigious Ray Reardon Trophy and scoop the £80,000 top prize at Venue Cymru.
For Milkins, however, the lure of an additional £150,000 bonus is tantalising as he looks to finish top of the BetVictor Series ranking list.
Murphy is aiming to become the ninth multiple winner of the Welsh Open and claim his first ranking title since this very event in 2020 to take his overall tally into double figures.
The 40-year-old has already enjoyed a memorable week in Llandudno, having produced a magical maximum break in his Last 16 win over Daniel Wells to follow up a 145 in the previous frame.
The 2005 World Champion, who underwent gastric sleeve surgery last summer, has looked back to his best since the turn of the year, following up a Quarter-Final appearance at the UK Championship with a Semi-Final spot at the World Grand Prix.
Murphy’s run to the final began with a 4-1 win over Peng Yisong, before overcoming Anthony McGill 4-2 and hitting the headlines with his 147 heroics in defeating Wells 4-1.
He then whitewashed Yuan Sijun 5-0 in the Quarter-Finals, before battling past another Chinese youngster in Pang Junxu 6-3 in Saturday’s semis.
Milkins, meanwhile, is facing undoubtedly the biggest match of his professional career, which began way back in 1995.
The Gloucester ace finds himself in only a second ranking final, the first of which having come at the Gibraltar Open in March 2022 when he opened his title account.
Victory here would not only see him join an elite list of Welsh Open champions, but would also land him the biggest payday of his life, taking his earnings for the week to £230,000 – almost £100,000 more than he has ever acquired in an entire season.
Defeat, on the other hand, would see German Masters champion Ali Carter bank the £150,000 BetVictor Series bonus.
The resurgent 46-year-old came into this event on the back of reaching the Semi-Finals of the recent German Masters and began his charge by defeating Scotland’s Dean Young 4-2.
He then dispatched three-time World Champion Mark Selby by the same scoreline, before seeing off Hossein Vafaei 4-1, thrashing UK Champion Mark Allen 5-1 and digging deep to seal a scrappy 6-2 win over Tian Pengfei.
This will be the 13th meeting between Murphy and Milkins, with ‘The Magician’ having prevailed on seven previous occasions since the turn of the millennium.
The final gets under way from 1pm GMT for a maximum of eight frames, before resuming from 7pm over the best of 17.
How to watch Murphy v Milkins live stream
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