Ricky Walden’s return to form has continued after he stormed into the last 16 of the Betway UK Championship.
The Chester potter has been struggling with a debilitating back injury that has threatened his career.
But since starting pain-relieving injections just over a month ago, Walden has produced a series of encouraging results.
And now the world number 23 will attempt to get one over of his old friend Shaun Murphy in the fourth round of the UK Championship tomorrow afternoon (1pm, Thursday).
Walden set up the showdown with the 2008 champion with a superb 6-2 success over world number 15 Kyren Wilson on Tuesday night.
The 35-year-old fired breaks of 82, 56, 116, 69 and 50 to progress and then said: “I played well out there.
“It’s been well documented how difficult it has been for me personally but I’ve played well tonight.
“It’s my best performance so far and hopefully I can keep moving forward in the tournament.
“Winning again has given me a lot of confidence because up until that point I had been playing okay and staying in games and not hitting anywhere near top form.
“But it was nice to touch on top form, play good stuff and feel better.”
Walden has won three ranking titles in his career, the last coming at the International Championship in 2014.
But if he is to stand any chance of winning a fourth this week in York, he will have to get past the 2005 world champion first.
Walden and world number six Murphy go way back having played together and against each other since they were kids.
“I’m going to have to play just as well if not a little better,” said Walden, who came from behind to beat Jamie Jones 6-5 and swept aside Duane Jones 6-1 before overcoming Wilson.
“We’ve have some good games over the years and we’ve known each other for a very long time.
“We’ve travelled the circuit and been together since we were about 10. It’s always nice to play Shaun. He’s a top player and a good guy, too.
“Hopefully it’s a good, open scoring match.”
Watch LIVE coverage of the UK Championship on Eurosport and Eurosport Player with Colin Murray and analysis from Jimmy White and Neal Foulds.