The Champion of Champions final will be contested between Judd Trump and Neil Robertson at the Ricoh Arena in Coventry on Sunday.
Trump extended his winning streak to ten matches with a hard-fought 6-4 victory over Mark Allen on Saturday after Robertson had previously edged defending champion Ronnie O’Sullivan 6-5 the day before.
In a pair of entertaining affairs, both players needed to come from behind in order to set up their showdown for glory.
In Robertson’s case, the Australian powered in timely contributions of 135 and 90 in the last two frames to deny O’Sullivan a sixth Champion of Champions final appearance.
Trump then recovered from a 4-3 deficit to Allen, winning a crucial ninth frame before sealing the deal with a run of 98.
For the world champion, it marks the second time that he has reached this stage of a prestigious invitational that boasts only tournament winners from the previous twelve months.
Trump, who lost in the 2014 final, is enjoying a remarkable 2019 in which he has not only secured his maiden world title at the Crucible, but also added four other pieces of silverware too.
Last week’s World Open success on the other side of the world in China has seemingly had no influence on his energy levels and he’ll surely begin today’s test as the man to beat.
🗣️ “My record against him is pretty good, so I’ll go in fancying my chances.”
— ChampionofChampions (@ChampOfChamps) November 9, 2019
That said, Robertson does understand what’s needed to triumph here having tasted success at this venue four years ago.
After a tricky spell on the circuit that culminated in his brief plummet outside the world’s top 16 in 2017, Robertson has firmly reestablished himself as one of the rightful members of the highest echelons this year.
This run represents the 37 year-old’s fifth final in 2019 with wins in the Welsh Open and the lucrative China Open already under his belt.
Trump and Robertson’s rivalry dates all the way back to the 2011 World Championship when the latter, as the reigning champion, was dumped out of the competition by an emerging star who was unleashing his own brand of “naughty snooker”.
While that encounter occurred in the first round, the majority of their clashes since have transpired at the business end of events.
Trump boasts a narrow head-to-head advantage, although did lose their last battle at the semi-final stage of the Players Championship in March.
They are both serial winners so it promises to be a heavyweight fight that the neutrals will be hoping concludes in a dramatic and close finish.
Simply because of his recent exploits, world number one Trump must be considered the slight favourite but it would be foolish to write off Robertson as he rarely becomes overawed by an occasion such as this one.
With £150,000 at stake and with this Champion of Champions final representing the last in Coventry – the tournament moves to Milton Keynes in 2020 – a fitting climax is in store.
Live coverage is on ITV and Facebook.
Click here to view the draw (Times: CET)
🗣️ “I just can’t wait to get out there and play in another final.”
A very calm and collected @nr147 gives his verdict after one of the matches of the season as he awaits either @pistol147 or @judd147t in the ManBetX @ChampOfChamps final.#ChampOfChamps pic.twitter.com/YQBJzQS8So
— ChampionofChampions (@ChampOfChamps) November 8, 2019