The 48-year-old arrived at the York Barbican Centre having not reached the quarter-finals of a ranking event as a professional since the 2004 British Open.
It was a further nine years earlier that he reached the UK Championship semi-finals, back 1995 having also enjoyed a run to the same stage at the Crucible a few months previously.
But the Devonian, ranked 102 in the world, has rolled back the years this week; prevailing in deciding frames against 2015 finalist Liang Wenbo, as well as Michael Holt and Dominic Dale and then David Gilbert on Thursday.
Hicks demonstrated his bottle against Championship League winner Gilbert; coming from behind on four separate occasions with breaks of 88, 82 and 67, before a run of 56 in the decider saw him over the line.
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