Judd Trump booked a semi-final against Peter Ebdon after edging out Mark Allen in a thrilling 6-5 victory at the International Championship in Chengdu.
Trump was on the brink of victory at 5-3 up before Allen hit back to level at 5-5 forcing the world number two to compose himself and see out the final frame.
Ebdon, in contrast, had a far more straightforward passage into the semi with a 6-0 win over Ricky Walden.
Neil Robertson will tackle his fellow former world champion Shaun Murphy in the other semi-final.
Australian left-handed cueman Robertson put a halt to 14-year-old Chinese potter Lu Haotian's run, recovering from 2-1 behind to win through 6-2 against a player who knocked out Dominic Dale in the second round.
"It was a scrappy match, one for the connoisseur" - Peter Ebdon
Trump has not won a ranking title since York last December but he is now just two matches away from the £125,000 top prize but it was Allen who won the first frame with a break of 83.
Trump levelled with a 70 and then moved 2-1 ahead. Allen's run of 98 saw him make it 2-2 but breaks of 75 and 107 put Trump 4-2 ahead.
Allen pulled one back with 121 but Trump took a 5-3 lead to move to within sight of victory.
A run of 104 from Allen closed the gap and he came from 41-0 down in the next to make it 5-5.
Trump made 60 before failing to land on a red when splitting the pack.
Allen was 61 points down but still had five reds left, but after Trump played a snooker behind the black, Allen left a red to a centre pocket and his opponent potted it to seal victory.
"It was a good game, we both played well," Trump told www.worldsnooker.com.
"I had a good lead then I was just trying to finish it off. I kept going into the pack and landing on nothing so I was getting frustrated. But I just had to try to stay patient and wait for a chance.
"It will be a different challenge against Peter tomorrow. I'll just have to play my own game, try to get in front and try to dominate the match."
Ebdon's match, although seemingly straightforward, took 50 minutes longer than Trump's match with a top break of 81 helping China Open champion Ebdon stay on course for his second ranking title in China in 2012.
Ebdon said: "It was a scrappy match, one for the connoisseur.
"It was strange playing someone so young. It made me feel really old" - Neil Robertson
"But I'm really looking forward to the semi-final against Judd and playing a best-of-17 match in our joint-second most important ranking event. Every match is different so you have to play it as it comes."
Speaking after his win over Lu Haotian, Neil Robertson said: "It was strange playing someone so young. It made me feel really old.
"I had to use all of my experience, especially in the close frames. I won two on the black otherwise it could have been different. Lu has got a tremendous future," added the 2010 Crucible champion.
Murphy, world champion in 2005, was 3-1 behind against Marco Fu, but won through 6-4 with a best break of 129.
The Englishman halted his Hong Kong opponent, but refused to get carried away about being in the last four.
"Stephen Hendry used to say that when he got to the semi-finals he was only halfway there, so there's still a long way to go," Murphy said.
"Neil and I have had some great matches in the past and we'll have more in the future."