Top seed Daria Kasatkina succumbed to a surprise quarter-final exit against Zheng Qinwen at the Abu Dhabi Open as Belinda Bencic marched into the final four.
Kasatkina was blown away in just 78 minutes by Zheng, who only dropped three games in her 6-1 6-2 upset of the world number eight.
Zheng, who defeated world number 12 Jelena Ostapenko on Wednesday, executed her serve-and-volley approach expertly throughout, with the 20-year-old claiming the third top-10 victory of her career to reach her third tour-level semi-final.
Another Russian player stands between Zheng and a place in the final after eighth seed Liudmila Samsonova dispatched compatriot Veronika Kudermetova 6-3 6-3.
Down to the final in Abu Dhabi— wta (@WTA) February 10, 2023
Who's taking the title @MubadalaADOpen | #MubadalaAbuDhabiOpen pic.twitter.com/bhqnKho9Mq
Bencic found form after edging a tough first set against qualifier Shelby Rodgers, who saw her run ended by a 7-6 (7-5) 6-2 defeat.
Second seed Bencic will face Beatriz Haddad Maia in the semi-finals after the Brazilian railed to beat Elena Rybakina 3-6 6-3 6-2 less than 24 hours after beating Yulia Putintseva in a marathon three-hour encounter.
Meanwhile, top seed Maria Sakkari secured her progress to the last four at the Linz Open with a 6-3 7-6 (10-8) straight sets win over Donna Vekic.
The Greek will face off with Petra Martic next, while Anastasia Potapova faces the unseeded Marketa Vondrousova in the other semi-final.