Shaun Murphy repelled a strong Judd Trump comeback to claim a 13-11 victory and book his place back in the Betfred World Snooker Championship semi-finals for the first time since 2015.
Resuming 10-6 behind, Trump reeled off five of the first six frames of the evening session, hauling himself level in the match with a clearance of 111.
But Murphy recovered his poise with consecutive breaks of 70 and 62 proving enough to edge him through.
Murphy said he hoped his win marked the start of an overdue change in his fortunes, having endured a difficult few years on and off the table, made harder by lockdown regulations affecting travel from his home in Ireland.
"There have been some very dark days, times when in all honesty had I had a good paying job to go to, I would have sacked it off," he said.
"Maybe this week turns my bad season around a little bit. I don't think one good run can delete 20 bad ones, but I'm two wins away from capping off a very bad year in a very good way."
It seals a last four meeting with Kyren Wilson after he enjoyed a 13-8 victory over former champion Neil Robertson.
The pair's quarter-final was finely poised at 8-8 overnight, but Wilson won five straight frames at the start of their final session to set up the last-four clash with Murphy.
A total clearance of 133 gave Wilson the opening frame after Robertson attempted the break-off shot made popular by Mark Williams, only to hit the pack too hard from the bottom cushion and leave a red to the middle.
Robertson was then unfortunate to inadvertently knock a red into the corner pocket when splitting the pack from the blue and a break of 59 allowed Wilson to extend his lead.
Wilson missed a black off the spot on a break of 62 in the next frame but Robertson surprisingly spurned two easy chances to pot a red and Wilson took advantage to lead 11-8.
Last year's beaten finalist also won a scrappy 20th frame to leave Robertson needing to win all five remaining frames, but Wilson calmly made a break of 84 after the mid-session interval to seal a comprehensive win.
Mark Selby advanced to the semi-finals by thrashing fellow three-time champion Mark Williams with a session to spare.
Resuming with a 6-2 lead, Selby reeled off four frames in a row with the aid of breaks of 96, 58 and 66 before Williams stopped the rot with a run of 79.
However, the Welshman looked resigned to his fate and, despite successfully producing a bizarre four-cushion break-off shot, Selby claimed the three frames he needed to complete a 13-3 victory.
Selby will face Stuart Bingham for a place in the final after the latter summoned his 10th Crucible century to win a final frame decider against Anthony McGill and also book his place in the semi-finals.
McGill, who conquered Ronnie O'Sullivan 13-12 in the previous round, resumed 9-7 in front and a break of 106 upon the resumption nudged him into a 10-7 lead.
Bingham reeled off five frames in a row to move to the cusp of victory at 12-10 but was forced to withstand a gutsy fightback from the Scot before Bingham's brilliant 125 clearance saw him prevail.