For the second time in his career, Ali Carter will appear in a world final.
Back in 2008 it was something of a frantic scramble. The adrenalin was pumping after his 147 and never stopped until Ronnie O’Sullivan beat him 18-8.
This year there have been some close matches for Carter but he has looked much calmer. After a disappointing season in which his form has been affected by ill health, he may not have had many expectations.
But he has played some very good, hard match snooker and duly got the rewards.
Ali always was a confident character as the Essex boys tend to be. I remember his big breakthrough at the Preston Guild Hall in 1999 when he beat Stephen Hendry, then world champion, in the Grand Prix.
It was clear then he had something about him: not only the game but a fearsome competitiveness.
This piece I wrote as part of my new season previews last June sums up my feelings on him as a player. I said then I would be interested to see if he land one of the game’s big three titles. I still am, and he has the chance to over the next few days.
If he did it would be a remarkable turnaround in fortunes: from a player who announced retirement earlier this season to world champion.
He’s played a tight game, weighing up the percentages not unlike his friend Peter Ebdon, who is in his corner.
If, as seems likely, he plays O’Sullivan again then Carter will start as underdog, but this will probably do him a favour.
He has played the tournament with great composure so far. He will need this mindset for the final to complete what would be one of snooker’s great stories.