The 2023 Masters final will be contested between former champions Judd Trump and Mark Williams on Sunday in London.
After comprehensively winning their respective semi-final ties, the pair will vie for the Paul Hunter Trophy at the Alexandra Palace.
Williams took advantage of a wretched performance from Jack Lisowski to prevail in the opening semi-final courtesy of a bagel scoreline.
In the evening session on Saturday, Trump lost just a single frame as he emerged from a scrappy affair with Stuart Bingham.
The Englishman has been nowhere near his best this week but finds himself in a second Masters final, four years after he captured glory in the event in 2019.
- CLICK HERE: Judd Trump player profile, career summary, stats
Trump has relied on his battling qualities rather than his trademark attacking prowess to move to within one victory of the £250,000 top prize.
While the 33 year-old has enjoyed a trophy-laden career, titles in the Triple Crown events have been more scarce, but here represents an opportunity to add a fourth piece of silverware of that calibre to his collection.
Yet despite Trump being the higher-ranked competitor in this deciding showdown, it will surely be Williams who starts the tie as the favourite.
The Welshman has produced the most consistent snooker this week and will feature in a fourth Masters final, an incredible 20 years after his last appearance at this late stage.
Just a couple of months shy of his 48th birthday, Williams is the oldest Masters finalist since Ray Reardon’s run aged 50 all the way back in 1983.
This impressive feat also comes on the 25th anniversary of his dramatic maiden victory in the tournament when he pipped Stephen Hendry in a memorable respotted black.
Last season, Williams came agonisingly close to challenging for glory at both the Masters and the World Championship, losing in semi-final deciders in both.
Here then is finally an opportunity for the former world number one to claim what would be an eighth career Triple Crown title.
The player who denied Williams at the Crucible Theatre last April was none other than Trump, and it’s the Englishman who boasts the far superior head-to-head record overall.
Trump has been victorious in 19 of their previous 28 matches in all competitions, triumphing in both of their prior multi-session affairs.
One would think he’d have to raise his game to etch his name onto the trophy for a second time, but that was said of his earlier matches in the competition and he has still found a way to make it through.
Against Williams, though, he will be challenged by a player who possesses one of the coolest temperaments in the game.
This was evident in contrasting scenarios already this week, with Williams fighting back from behind to beat Ronnie O’Sullivan before coolly picking off Lisowski’s error-strewn display in the last four.
Williams will probably look at this as one of his last chances to claim such a prestigious title, although other than his age there’s nothing in his overall form to suggest why that should be the case.
Both protagonists in the Masters final carry heavyweight credentials, and after a somewhat disappointing week of action in the hyped event, let’s hope a scintillating climax is delivered.
Live coverage of the final begins at 1pm and 7pm GMT on the BBC, Eurosport, and other broadcasters around the world.
Featured photo credit: WST