Mark Allen stormed through to the World Grand Prix final after a dominant 6-1 victory over Noppon Saengkham in Cheltenham on Friday.
The Pistol hit a top break of 127 as he ensured a repeat of his success against Saengkham by the same scoreline at this stage of the British Open in October.
Just like in their showdown in Milton Keynes, Allen dominated proceedings to avoid joining his opponent’s impressive list of scalps this week, with the Thai having taken out Mark Selby, Ronnie O’Sullivan and Mark Williams at the Centaur.
The top seed, who has already landed the Northern Ireland Open and UK Championship this season, will play either Judd Trump or Shaun Murphy in his fourth final of the campaign.
Allen had scrapped his way through to a fifth semi-final of 2022-23, edging out Joe O’Connor and Jack Lisowski in deciding frames along the way.
However, he quickly settled into his rhythm with breaks of 73 and 66 for an early 2-0 lead.
The week’s surprise package and appearing in his fourth ranking semi-final, Saengkham replied with 58 to halve the deficit in his quest to reach a maiden final.
But the Pistol restored his authority on proceedings with 78 before a magnificent clearance of 127. The world number five then overturned an early deficit to snatch frame six on the pink to move one from victory, which he subsequently secured in the next.
Earlier in the day, Murphy edged out Anthony McGill 5-4 in a thrilling quarter-final encounter.
Although the Magician hit a top break of 95 to lead 3-1, he was taken to a decider as McGill responded with runs of 102, 99 and 108.
But Murphy held his nerve with 81 to set up a last-four clash with Trump, who overcame Xiao Guodong 5-3.
The recently crowned Masters champion produced contributions of 68, 59, 65 and 117 to remain on course to land two trophies in as many weeks.
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World Grand Prix 2023 Results
Friday January 20
Shaun Murphy 5-4 Anthony McGill
Judd Trump 5-3 Xiao Guodong
Mark Allen 6-1 Noppon Saengkham