Judd Trump and Ali Carter will play for a £140,000 champion’s cheque in the Wuhan Open final on Sunday.
The pair emerged from their semi-final ties on the penultimate day with comprehensive victories.
Carter beat Lyu Haotian 6-2, compiling breaks of 96, 122, 91, and 70 to win the last four frames in impressive fashion.
Trump then thrashed Wu Yize, oozing with the confidence gained from capturing the English Open title less than a week ago in Brentwood.
Wu was celebrating his 20th birthday with a maiden appearance in a ranking event semi-final.
But Trump made a brace of century breaks and added further contributions of 77, 63, 53, and 52 to complete a resounding triumph.
It has been a remarkable couple of weeks for the 34 year-old, who has defied a difficult schedule on the World Snooker Tour to reach successive ranking finals.
There has been serious debate surrounding WST’s calendar, specifically the staging of back-to-back events on opposite sides of the world.
Yet Trump has proven that, although difficult, it’s not impossible to ride a wave of success – regardless of the obstacles.
On Sunday, the Englishman will bid to claim a 25th career ranking crown that would take him to equal-fifth on the all-time list alongside Mark Williams.
Trump has already reached three ranking finals this season, which is not even counting his glory in the CBSA invitational near Huangguoshu Waterfall in August.
Although he claimed a second Masters title in January, it would be fair to say that his 2022/23 season wasn’t as prolific as he would have liked.
But he’s well on his way to rectifying that, and Trump has proven in the past how he has the capability of being a dominant force when in full flow.
His opponent in the Wuhan Open final will have plenty to say about whether or not he can maintain his recent streak, though.
Carter has been one of the most consistent performers throughout the calendar year of 2023.
After winning the German Masters for a second time in February, the 44 year-old also reached the title decider of the Players Championship where lost to Shaun Murphy.
Victory for the Captain in Sunday’s final would see him rejoin the top ten in world rankings.
Carter was one of the so-called Macau Five who controversially agreed to participate in an exhibition event on the same dates as this month’s Northern Ireland Open.
But the noise surrounding that story hasn’t distracted him at all, with the former World Championship finalist advancing to within one game of securing a sixth ranking title.
Trump and Carter have clashed on 26 occasions over the years in all competitions.
The former boasts a narrow head-to-head advantage, but Carter won their most recent meeting in a 6-5 thriller at the Players Championship in Wolverhampton.
However, their one previous final against one another was at the World Grand Prix in 2019 when Trump prevailed 10-6.
In the form Trump finds himself in, it’s hard to see a different outcome this time.
Coverage of the Wuhan Open final will be on Eurosport and discovery+ across Europe, and on Matchroom.Live in all other areas except China.
2023 WUHAN OPEN DRAW
Round of 128 (bo9)
(held over fixtures)
Xing Zihao w/o Luca Brecel
Daniel Womersley 3-5 Gong Chenzhi
Si Jiahui 5-2 Wang Xinzhong
Ali Carter 5-2 Bai Yulu
Anthony Hamilton 5-0 Wang Xinbo
Zhou Yuelong 5-2 Baipat Siripaporn
Ding Junhui 5-3 Ashley Hugill
Ronnie O’Sullivan 5-1 Ken Doherty
Round of 64 (bo9)
Xing Zihao 5-4 Michael White
Stephen Maguire 5-2 Joe O’Connor
Ryan Day 5-4 Jackson Page
Marco Fu 3-5 Wu Yize
Ben Woollaston 1-5 Aaron Hill
Martin O’Donnell 5-1 John Higgins
Jordan Brown 3-5 Gong Chenzhi
Elliot Slessor 2-5 He Guoqiang
Mark Selby 4-5 Xu Si
Rod Lawler 2-5 Xiao Guodong
Robert Milkins 5-4 Hammad Miah
Tom Ford 5-1 Cao Yupeng
Jamie Jones 5-4 Ian Burns
Sanderson Lam 2-5 Barry Hawkins
Thepchaiya Un-Nooh 2-5 Matthew Selt
Oliver Lines 2-5 Judd Trump
Mark Allen 5-4 Mark Joyce
Si Jiahui 5-4 Jak Jones
Jack Lisowski 5-3 Scott Donaldson
Ishpreet Singh Chadha 2-5 Sam Craigie
Daniel Wells 1-5 Stuart Bingham
Jamie Clarke 1-5 Ali Carter
Anthony Hamilton 0-5 Zhou Yuelong
Liam Highfield 5-3 Neil Robertson
Ben Mertens 5-1 Dominic Dale
Chris Wakelin 2-5 Lyu Haotian
Zhang Anda w/o Mark Williams
Noppon Saengkham w/o Graeme Dott
Alfie Burden 3-5 Ashley Carty
Yuan Sijun 5-0 Ding Junhui
Pang Junxu 5-3 Stuart Carrington
Mark Davis 1-5 Ronnie O’Sullivan
Round of 32 (bo9)
Xing Zihao 1-5 Stephen Maguire
Ryan Day 2-5 Wu Yize
Aaron Hill 5-1 Martin O’Donnell
Gong Chenzhi 4-5 He Guoqiang
Xu Si 0-5 Xiao Guodong
Robert Milkins 2-5 Tom Ford
Jamie Jones 1-5 Barry Hawkins
Matthew Selt 0-5 Judd Trump
Mark Allen 5-4 Si Jiahui
Jack Lisowski 5-4 Sam Craigie
Stuart Bingham 4-5 Ali Carter
Zhou Yuelong 3-5 Liam Highfield
Ben Mertens 1-5 Lyu Haotian
Zhang Anda 5-1 Noppon Saengkham
Ashley Carty 2-5 Yuan Sijun
Pang Junxu 4-5 Ronnie O’Sullivan
Round of 16 (bo9)
Stephen Maguire 4-5 Wu Yize
Aaron Hill 5-3 He Guoqiang
Xiao Guodong 4-5 Tom Ford
Barry Hawkins 2-5 Judd Trump
Mark Allen 5-2 Jack Lisowski
Ali Carter 5-1 Liam Highfield
Lyu Haotian 5-2 Zhang Anda
Yuan Sijun 1-5 Ronnie O’Sullivan
Wu Yize 5-4 Aaron Hill
Tom Ford 0-5 Judd Trump
Mark Allen 2-5 Ali Carter
Lyu Haotian 5-1 Ronnie O’Sullivan
Wu Yize 1-6 Judd Trump
Ali Carter 6-2 Lyu Haotian
Judd Trump 10-7 Ali Carter
Featured photo credit: WST