A run of four frames in a row from Neil Robertson helped him take charge of his International Championship semi-final with Shaun Murphy in Chengdu.
With newly-installed world number one Judd Trump waiting in the final and in ominous form, the onus was on both of these players to show they could go toe-to-toe with the 23-year-old, who crushed Peter Ebdon 9-1 in their last-four tie yesterday.
It is Australian Robertson who holds the advantage heading into the late session, racking up a the tournament`s highest break of 142 on his way to opening up a 5-3 lead.
He managed to achieve that having fallen 3-1 down to the 2005 world champion, with his clearing 142 getting him some momentum in the fifth frame, before he got back to 3-3 and then 4-3 ahead. He took the final frame of the session with a well-timed contribution of 68.
A prize of #125,000 is on offer for the winner of the tournament - in its first year and already on a par with the UK Championship for the second-biggest prize fund on the professional tour.