|Venue: Alexandra Palace, London Dates: 8 January-15 January|
|Coverage: Watch live on BBC TV and Red Button with uninterrupted coverage on BBC iPlayer, the BBC Sport website and the BBC Sport app|
Judd Trump beat Stuart Bingham 6-1 to set up a meeting with Mark Williams in the final of the Masters on Sunday.
Neither player was at their best but Trump crucially won several scrappy frames and compiled five half-centuries on his way to victory.
In Saturday’s other semi-final Williams recorded a thumping 6-0 win over Jack Lisowski.
Three half-centuries and a superior safety game saw the Welshman into his first Masters final for 20 years.
His match with Trump will be their first since their epic World Championship semi-final last April that the Englishman edged 17-16.
Bingham, the 2020 champion, arrived in the last four as arguably the form player of the tournament after comfortably beating Kyren Wilson and thrashing Shaun Murphy.
However, he struggled to get going against world number four Trump, who had scraped and scrapped through final-frame deciders against Ryan Day and Barry Hawkins.
And while Trump took a healthy 3-1 lead into the mid-session interval with breaks of 58 and 87, all four frames could have been won by either player, with both guilty of numerous uncharacteristic errors over the course of the match.
“It was a struggle,” Trump told BBC Sport. “I felt a lot better in the first three or four frames. It didn’t really run while I was in the balls. It was a bit scrappy but I just managed to get over the line.”
Both players missed routine reds before Trump made a break of 58 on his way to winning the first frame, the first time that Bingham has lost an opener at this year’s tournament.
And the 33-year-old who won at Alexandra Palace in 2019 then took the second with a break of 87 after Bingham went in off attempting a pot to the bottom left corner.
An an impressive 93 saw Bingham at his free-flowing best to reduce his arrears after Trump misjudged a cut on a red to the right middle.
But Trump took the fourth frame after making a 59 and winning a long tactical exchange on the green, while both players missed routine pots at the start of a tense fifth frame, which Trump narrowly won after protracted battles on the yellow and blue.
Trump claimed an edgy sixth frame and was thankful that an easy miss on a red while on 58 only delayed the conclusion of his victory, with Bingham getting two snookers before Trump brought proceedings to a close.
Williams coasts into first final since 2003
Two-time champion Williams, 47, was always in control against Lisowski and his greater experience told after winning a scrappy and hard-fought opener.
He had the better of the tactical exchanges and made three half-centuries to lead 5-0 before sealing his victory in a low-scoring final frame.
“It’s got to be up there with one of my best wins for a long time because I don’t get to finals as often as I used to and it gets more difficult the older you get,” Williams told BBC Sport.
“There were no century breaks but I maybe had three or four breaks from positions where the balls weren’t easy. Those breaks are as good as any century. I can’t really outscore Jack, so what can I do? Try and outwit him with safety and win that way.
“I’m probably a better all-around player now than I have ever been.”
Williams went into the contest looking to make amends for his nail-biting defeat by Neil Robertson in last year’s semi-final and did so in emphatic fashion, in the process ending Englishman Lisowski’s hopes of a first major title.
Williams’ tactical play came to the fore as he picked off Lisowski’s errors to make breaks of 52, 74 and 68.
The 31-year-old, who is regarded as arguably the best player in the world not to have claimed any silverware as a professional, struggled to settle.
And when he inadvertently potted a red after knocking the blue into the right middle and later failed to get position on the brown in the final frame, it summed up his afternoon.
“Mark played some great stuff. Early on, whenever he missed, it landed awkward for me and I’d miss and stick him straight up,” Liswoski told BBC Sport.
“Maybe I’d have had a frame with a bit more luck. It wasn’t meant to be. I couldn’t get anything going and he just shut me out.”
Sign up to My Sport to follow snooker news on the BBC app.