Ronnie O'Sullivan reached his fifth World Championship final and his third in six years after defeating Judd Trump 17-11.
Armed with a 14-10 lead heading into the fourth session, the 37-year-old kept up his record of having won the opening frame of every session during the tournament.
O'Sullivan made 32 in the next before missing a long red and, although Trump had his chances, he left a free ball which the Essex cueman gratefully accepted.
With O'Sullivan needing just one more frame for victory, the left-handed Bristolian kept his hopes alive with an impressive break of 77.
It was all over in the next as O'Sullivan made a quickfire 31 before Trump missed a long pot which allowed his opponent to cut in a delicate red and edge over the winning line.
'The Rocket' is trying to become only the third player to defend his Crucible crown after Steve Davis and Stephen Hendry.
After the match, Trump urged O'Sullivan to reconsider his plans to walk away from snooker.
"Hopefully next year he plays in it again so I can beat him," Trump said. "I want to win the World Championship with him in it and I want to beat him on the way."
O'Sullivan will face Barry Hawkins in the title decider after the latter overcame fellow Englishman Ricky Walden 17-14 in the other semi-final.