Ding Junhui had a century break as he edged a tight World Grand Prix semi-final against Mark Selby in Preston.
Selby took the opening frame in the best of 11 contest on the black after a 49-minute battle, with the players trading blows before Ding fired a 91 break to level at 2-2.
The 30-year-old then rattled off a frame-winning break of 94 to move ahead for the first time in the match, with a place in the final against Ronnie O’Sullivan at stake.
Selby pegged the Chinese back to 3-3 and then again to 4-4, before Ding scored a break of 104 in the ninth to go within one frame of a place in Sunday’s match.
But the current world number one took the tenth 74-50, to set up a post-midnight final frame showdown in which Ding prevailed after scoring a break of 83.