The 2023 English Open final on Sunday will be contested between Judd Trump and Zhang Anda in Brentwood.
Trump, in what will be his 39th career ranking event final, will look to regain the Steve Davis Trophy he previously captured in 2020.
By contrast, Zhang will feature in a maiden title decider at this level following a memorable run to this point.
The pair emerged from contrasting semi-final encounters on Saturday.
Trump looked completely out of sorts in the early exchanges of his clash with John Higgins and found himself 5-2 behind with four to play.
However, after his opponent failed to complete victory despite having chances in the eighth frame, Trump ignited his trademark power scoring.
Rapid contributions of 88, 111, and 68 confined Higgins to his chair as he suffered yet another painful deciding-frame defeat from a winning position.
It has become somewhat of a bad habit for the Scot, who this season alone had already let slip a lead to Trump at the same hurdle of the European Masters and to Ronnie O’Sullivan in Shanghai.
Zhang, meanwhile, came through a much scrappier affair with his fellow Chinese cueist Liu Hongyu.
Both players were making their debut at this stage of a ranking event, and at times it showed with high breaks at a premium.
The more experienced Zhang took advantage of the game’s scrappier nature to win the opening four frames – a cushion he duly nurtured until reaching the winning line.
A triumph in the English Open final on Sunday would represent a remarkable transformation for the 31 year-old.
For years, Zhang had been recognised as arguably the best player never to be ranked inside the world’s top 64.
He finally rectified that stat this year, and through his stellar displays this week that have seen him beat the likes of Ronnie O’Sullivan, he will definitely improve his ranking at least into the top 40.
Trump, though, will be a monumental favourite in this best-of-17 fixture where a champion’s cheque worth £80,000 is up for grabs.
Having lost his last three ranking finals since lifting the Turkish Masters crown in 2022, the 34 year-old will again bid for a 24th title at this level.
If he produces anything like the scintillating standard he demonstrated towards the end of his last-four showdown with Higgins, it’s tough to see how Zhang will be able to cope.
But the latter has been a high scorer recently too – compiling nine century breaks since the beginning of this season – and he’ll need that and more to challenge for the Home Nations silverware.
Trump and Zhang have played each other six times in all competitions but not since 2019, with the former leading 4-2 in the head-to-head record.
Live coverage of the English Open final in the UK and Ireland is on Eurosport, discovery+, and DMAX.
2023 ENGLISH OPEN DRAW
Round of 128
(held over fixtures)
Mark Selby 4-1 Xing Zihao
Ryan Day 4-2 Ashley Hugill
John Higgins 4-3 Marco Fu
Kyren Wilson 3-4 Oliver Lines
Judd Trump 4-0 Sean O’Sullivan
Robert Milkins 4-1 Robbie Williams
Barry Hawkins 4-1 Anthony Hamilton
Mark Allen 4-0 Mostafa Dorgham
Ronnie O’Sullivan 4-0 Andrew Pagett
Jack Lisowski 4-1 Matthew Stevens
Elliot Slessor 4-2 Ryan Davies
Ali Carter 4-1 Jamie Clarke
Neil Robertson 2-4 Sanderson Lam
Shaun Murphy 3-4 Liu Hongyu
Mark Williams 4-0 Ian Burns
Ding Junhui 4-3 Ma Hailong
Luca Brecel 4-3 Stan Moody
Round of 64
Mark Selby 2-4 Martin O’Donnell
Stephen Maguire 4-2 Louis Heathcote
Ryan Day 3-4 He Guoqiang
Hossein Vafaei 4-3 Julien Leclercq
David Lilley 2-4 Mark Davis
James Cahill 2-4 John Higgins
Cao Yupeng 4-0 David Gilbert
Martin Gould 1-4 Oliver Lines
Judd Trump 4-1 Scott Donaldson
Jimmy Robertson 4-3 Allan Taylor
Robert Milkins 4-3 Adam Duffy
Tom Ford 2-4 Yuan Sijun
Hammad Miah 2-4 Ricky Walden
Graeme Dott 4-2 Barry Hawkins
Michael White 3-4 Matthew Selt
Wu Yize 1-4 Mark Allen
Ronnie O’Sullivan 4-1 Jackson Page
Si Jiahui 4-0 Fergal O’Brien
Jack Lisowski 3-4 Elliot Slessor
Anthony McGill 1-4 Zhang Anda
Lukas Kleckers 1-4 Jenson Kendrick
Liam Pullen 0-4 Ali Carter
Andrew Higginson 2-4 Zhou Yuelong
Stuart Carrington 0-4 Sanderson Lam
Liu Hongyu 4-1 Joe O’Connor
Chris Wakelin 4-1 Jamie Jones
Mark Williams 4-3 Xiao Guodong
Dylan Emery 4-1 Oliver Brown
Dominic Dale 3-4 Gary Wilson
David Grace 1-4 Ding Junhui
Muhammad Asif 4-3 Fan Zhengyi
Andy Hicks 1-4 Luca Brecel
Round of 32
Martin O’Donnell 4-1 Stephen Maguire
He Guoqiang 4-3 Hossein Vafaei
Mark Davis 0-4 John Higgins
Cao Yupeng 2-4 Oliver Lines
Judd Trump 4-3 Jimmy Robertson
Robert Milkins 1-4 Yuan Sijun
Ricky Walden 4-3 Graeme Dott
Matthew Selt 4-2 Mark Allen
Ronnie O’Sullivan 4-2 Si Jiahui
Elliot Slessor 1-4 Zhang Anda
Jenson Kendrick 0-4 Ali Carter
Zhou Yuelong 4-0 Sanderson Lam
Liu Hongyu 4-3 Chris Wakelin
Mark Williams 4-2 Dylan Emery
Gary Wilson 2-4 Ding Junhui
Muhammad Asif 0-4 Luca Brecel
Round of 16
Martin O’Donnell 4-2 He Guoqiang
John Higgins 4-1 Oliver Lines
Judd Trump 4-2 Yuan Sijun
Ricky Walden 3-4 Matthew Selt
Ronnie O’Sullivan 2-4 Zhang Anda
Ali Carter 1-4 Zhou Yuelong
Liu Hongyu 4-3 Mark Williams
Ding Junhui 4-3 Luca Brecel
Martin O’Donnell 1-5 John Higgins
Judd Trump 5-1 Matthew Selt
Zhang Anda 5-4 Zhou Yuelong
Liu Hongyu 5-2 Ding Junhui
John Higgins 5-6 Judd Trump
Zhang Anda 6-2 Liu Hongyu
Judd Trump 9-7 Zhang Anda
Featured photo credit: WST