Ronnie O’Sullivan requires six more frames to book his place in the World Championship final after opening up an 11-5 lead against Barry Hawkins.
The defending Champion showed some of his best form of the tournament as he won the first four frames of the morning session to lead 10-2 at the interval.
The 2013 runner-up knew a good start was imperative if he was to mount a comeback but after he missed an early red in the opener, O’Sullivan punished him with 83.
A break of 53 was enough in the next to see O’Sullivan go six clear and his relentless march to a third consecutive title showed no signs of letting up as he stroked in his eighth century of the Championship in the next to go 9-2 ahead.
Watched on by his psychiatrist, Dr Steve Peters, O’Sullivan continued his heavy scoring in the next, a sensational 106 saw him move into the interval with an eight frame advantage.
Hawkins finally got on the scoreboard in the first after the break and after O’Sullivan missed the last green in the next the world number four reduced his arrears to six.
Both players had chances in frame 15, but after Hawkins missed an easy red, O’Sullivan made to mistake in going seven clear.
Hawkins dug deep in the last frame of the session, a well crafted break of 106 ensured he still has a glimmer of hope.
However, the 34-year-old will need to win at least three frames in the third session to avoid losing the match with a session to spare.
They will resume at 7pm tonight, with 17 the target for a place in the final.