DING Junhui held his nerve in a final frame decider against Ryan Day to book his place in the German Masters final.
Welshman Day, playing in his first major semi-final in five years, took the semi-final down to the wire after brilliantly fighting back from 5-3 down in front of a packed crowd at Berlin’s Tempodrom venue.
But Ding, ranked third in the world, held off Day’s hopes of winning with a match-winning break of 79.
Ding now is just one more win away from winning his fourth major trophy of a dominant season after already claiming the Shanghai Masters, Indian Open and International Championship titles at the back end of 2013.
Sunday’s grand final will see China’s number one star play either Judd Trump or Rod Lawler who do battle tonight (Saturday) in the second semi-final.
Ding made the perfect start to the semi final with a break of 97 before Day responded with a run of 64 to level at 1-1.
A close third frame was won by Ding who cleared from green to pink to go back in front but Day won the fourth to go to the interval all square at 2-2.
The first two frames of the second session were shared which included a break of 77 from day to level the match for a third time at 3-3.
But Ding appeared to take total control of the match when he won the seventh frame after Day missed a long when holding a 58-28 advantage and then the eighth frame with a sublime break of 121 to put him on the verge of victory at 5-3 up.
Day though kept his chances alive when he responded in brilliant fashion as breaks of 109 and 58 took the match down to the wire.
The Welshman, with momentum on his side, had the first real scoring opportunity in the final frame but missed a red to the centre pocket on 17 leaving Ding with a great chance. And it was a chance he took as a run of 79 earned him a 6-5 win.