Judd Trump hailed his “best season ever” after reaching his seventh ranking semi-final of the current campaign with victory over Ding Junhui at the German Masters in Milton Keynes.
The world number one produced a century break in the second frame as he soared into a 3-0 lead, but was then drawn into a battle and had to grind out his 5-3 win.
Trump’s tally of titles is still three short of the six he scooped last season as he stamped his authority at the top of the world rankings.
The 31-year-old said: “For me this is my best season ever – I know I won six last year but the consistency I have shown this season has been second to none.
“Even when I haven’t been at my best in this tournament or at the UK Championship, I just manage to dig in when you need to under pressure.”
Ding had staged a stirring fightback with back-to-back breaks over 80 to reduce the deficit to one, but Trump prevailed after two lengthy final frames.
Trump will face Barry Hawkins in the semi-finals on Saturday after the former World Championship finalist swept past Northern Ireland’s Jordan Brown 5-1.
Jack Lisowski came through a nervy encounter with Stuart Bingham to book his last-four place with a 5-3 win, and he will face Tom Ford, who was a 5-1 winner over Joe O’Connor.