It marks a fitting climax to what is the biggest ranking event of the season so far.
Sunday’s UK Championship final is a mouthwatering affair in which Judd Trump and Neil Robertson will battle for the £200,000 top prize in Milton Keynes.
Consistently the two best players in the world over the course of the last couple of years, it promises to be an exciting showdown full of sizable contributions.
Trump reached his first UK Championship final in six years with a 6-2 victory over Lu Ning on Saturday, hours after Robertson matched that scoreline by overcoming Zhou Yuelong.
The encounter between the world numbers one and three represents the fourth time in succession that they have crossed paths with silverware on the line.
Each of the previous three occasions, including in this season’s English Open when Trump triumphed with a 9-8 success, have been thoroughly entertaining encounters.
Both players appear to bring out the best in one another, which usually means the production of a barrage of century breaks.
Indeed, an impressive 14 tons have been compiled between them in those prior title-deciding fixtures, a streak that began with the Champion of Champion of Champions just over a year ago when Robertson prevailed in a decider with the aid of a fantastic five.
Trump has won their last couple of meetings, though, and boasts a superior head-to-head advantage overall against the Australian, albeit it is close.
In general these days it seems certain that a final, ranking event or not, will feature at least one of these two protagonists.
Apart from the season-opening European Masters, at least one of Trump or Robertson has been involved at this late final stage.
That the latter is still chasing his first trophy of the season, following losses to Trump in the English Open and Mark Allen in the Champion of Champions final, is probably the only major surprise.
Judd Trump defeats Lu Ning 6-2 to set up a tantalising Betway U.K. Championship final with Neil Robertson tomorrow.
A result that also confirms that Thepchaiya Un-Nooh will make his Masters debut next month with the Race to the Masters now complete!
— Matt (@ProSnookerBlog) December 5, 2020
Robertson will be bidding for a third career UK Championship crown, as the Melbourne man attempts to add to his glories from 2013 and 2015.
Trump, of course, memorably captured the UK title in 2011 to cap a superb year in which he made his ultimate breakthrough in the sport.
During this week’s tournament, Robertson has probably played the better snooker overall and is actually also bidding to break the record for most centuries compiled in a UK Championship.
The 38 year-old is only two shy of Stephen Hendry’s best of a dozen, but Trump can match his opponent in that department and his champion’s mentality at present is producing devastating results.
The 31 year-old has prevailed in eleven out of the twelve ranking-event finals he’s contested since late-2018 – the only blip coming recently when he was downed by Kyren Wilson in the short-formatted Championship League.
A victory for the Bristol potter would take him to 20 career ranking titles, just two shy of Mark Williams in fifth place on the all-time list.
Robertson, on the other hand, would equal Trump with 19 triumphs if he were to etch his name onto the UK Championship trophy for a third time.
It’s a difficult one to call as both players are clearly in form, and it will likely come down to their respective scoring powers.
If they are both firing at the same time, this UK Championship final between Trump and Robertson promises to be an absolute humdinger.
Live coverage of the 2020 UK Championship is on the BBC, Eurosport, and via various other global services.
Featured photo credit: WST