The Welsh Open final is on Sunday with English duo Shaun Murphy and Robert Milkins vying for the title in Llandudno.
Both players overcame first-time semi-finalists from China on Saturday to move to within one victory of securing the Ray Reardon Trophy.
Milkins ousted Tian Pengfei 6-2 in the afternoon session at the Venue Cymru before Murphy defeated Pang Junxu 6-3.
There’s £80,000 on offer for the Welsh Open champion, but there’s significantly more riding on the outcome of this fixture for Milkins.
Success would not only secure him a second career ranking title, but it would also land the 46 year-old the £150,000 bonus for topping the BetVictor Series rankings.
Ali Carter currently holds onto first place in those standings following his recent triumph in the German Masters, and the Captain will undoubtedly be Murphy’s loudest supporter on Sunday.
Milkins, who only captured his maiden ranking trophy less than a year ago with his win in the Gibraltar Open, will have a lot of pressure on his shoulders as he chases the enormous payday.
On paper, Murphy has less to play for and will be the favourite as the more experienced competitor at this stage of tournaments.
The Magician is on course for a tenth ranking crown, but it would be a first since he claimed the Welsh Open title back in 2020.
Murphy’s week has already been a memorable one after his last-16 victory over Daniel Wells included back-to-back total clearances of 145 and 147.
He will desperately be hoping to complete his turnaround in form this season by etching his name onto silverware again, however.
Both Murphy and Milkins are already guaranteed to feature in next week’s Players Championship, so they won’t have that as an added distraction at least.
In 14 previous encounters with one another, Murphy perhaps unsurprisingly leads the head-to-head but only by eight wins to his opponent’s six.
There will be a capacity crowd in to watch the Welsh Open final, and it’ll be crucial for both contenders to get off to a good start – particularly Milkins.
Home Nations title deciders have been notorious over the years for going right down to the wire, and fans will be hoping that level of drama ensues on this occasion too.
The Welsh Open final will be available live on Eurosport and BBC Wales. Other options around the world are available (information here).
Featured photo credit: WST
The final is also available on the Red Button and i-Player for those BBC viewers in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
We need an exciting final after a couple of fairly turgid days. The pace of play and quality during the quarters and semis was disappointing. Only two centuries in six matches.
The only previous two session match between Milkins and Murphy was a World qualifier in 2000 that the Milkman won. They’ve met in one final before today: Murphy beating Milkins 4-0 in the minor ranking Ruhr Open final.
Murphy is playing in his 23rd ranking final.