Ryan Day produced a terrific fightback from 4-2 down to defeat Marco Fu 6-4 for a place in the 2017 World Grand Prix final in Preston on Saturday night.
The Welsh ace defied two centuries from Fu and notably clinched a pivotal eighth frame after needing four snookers to remain on course for a maiden career ranking title.
The 36-year-old ended a run of five straight defeats to Fu spanning a decade as he set up a show-down with Barry Hawkins in Sunday’s final at the Preston Guild Hall.
“The eighth frame swung the momentum in my favour," admitted Day. “I had one look at the table and I thought I’d give it my best.
“As long as there’s a red on the table and there’s an opportunity of a free ball with the balls in a good position then you should go for it.
“Maybe the way that match turned around in the last couple of frames is a sign? Fingers crossed it is.
“Barry [Hawkins] is probably playing as well as anyone at the minute so I know I’m going to have to play well to give him a game," he added.
It was Fu who kicked off the match in spectacular fashion with a clearance of 125 to clinch the opening frame, before Day hit back with a 72 break to level.
The impressive standard continued as Fu made an 84 to regain the lead, only for Day to do the damage with a 58 break in the fourth frame for parity at two apiece.
Fu came out firing again with a stunning break of 123 to edge back ahead, before battling back from the brink to snatch a lengthy sixth frame and forge a 4-2 advantage.
Day, though, dominated frame seven by 80 points to nil and despite a 62 break from Fu in the next, ‘Dynamite’ mustered three snookers and a free ball in overturning the deficit and levelling up at 4-4.
Fu seemingly failed to recover and Day capitalised to move in front for the first time, before defying a run of 51 from the Hong Kong cueist in frame ten to get over the line.
A dejected Fu admitted: “I’m disappointed to lose the match but in a way I’m kind of relieved that it’s over because the way I was playing, I didn’t deserve to be in the final.
“I’m very happy for Ryan and hopefully he can win his first ranking title here."