Kyren Wilson established a commanding 6-2 lead over Shaun Murphy during the opening session of their World Championship Semi-Final at The Crucible.
The Warrior was in clinical form in Sheffield on Thursday; hitting three centuries and a further two breaks over 50 to move four frames clear overnight.
Appearing in his third Crucible semi-final in four years following an impressive 13-8 victory over the heavily fancied Neil Robertson, 2020 runner-up Wilson had a couple of chances to draw first blood in the opening frame.
But he failed to convert them and Murphy – making his first appearance in the last four since 2015 – stepped in with 74 to land the early blow.
A lengthy second frame ensued before Wilson eventually levelled matters on the penultimate red.
The world number six then went into overdrive with breaks of 110 and 72 moving him 3-1 ahead at the interval.
A crunching long red from Murphy’s break-off paved the way for a marvellous total clearance of 127, before he made it back-to-back centuries with a stunning 121 to guarantee an overnight lead.
The Magician, who had cut an uncharacteristically frustrated figure throughout the opening session, had struggled to replicate the performance levels he demonstrated during his 13-11 win over world number one Judd Trump less than 24 hours earlier.
However, the 2005 champion did stop the rot in the next with a timely run of 71.
The Magician then had a chance to reduce the deficit to 5-3 after Wilson had broken down on 70 in the final frame of the session.
But he missed the last red to the right centre; enabling the four-time ranking event winner to pull four clear once more.
By contrast, there was nothing to separate Mark Selby and Stuart Bingham earlier in the day, as they concluded their opening session locked at 4-4.
Down to the single-table set-up, both players struggled to adapt to the new conditions during the first four frames.
Back in the semi-finals for the first time since lifting the trophy in 2015, Bingham struck first with a neat run of 60, but three-time champion Selby levelled on the black before taking the next two for a 3-1 lead.
Looking to become only the third qualifier to capture the Crucible crown, world number 18 Bingham bounced back with breaks of 92 and 82 as he won the next three frames to edge his nose back in front.
But Selby, who had only dropped a joint-record low of 11 frames en route to reaching the last four, stopped the rot on the blue to square things up and leave the contest finely poised ahead of its resumption on Friday morning.
World Snooker Championship 2021 Latest Scores
Thursday April 29
Stuart Bingham 4-4 Mark Selby
Kyren Wilson 6-2 Shaun Murphy