Elena Rybakina continued her rise to prominence on Thursday as she claimed her first Top 5 scalp after beating Karolina Pliskova at the Dubai Open.
The 20-year-old has made waves on the WTA circuit so far this season and cemented herself as one to watch by reaching her fourth semi-final in five tournaments with the win against the world no.2.
Rybakina saw off her opponent 7-6(1), 6-3 in an hour and 41 minutes, coming from a break down in the first set, and going on to save 10 out of 11 break points throughout the duration of the match, proving her ability to stay calm under pressure even from the toughest opponents.
After taking a 4-2 lead, thanks to a couple of double faults by the youngster in the first set, Pliskova was schooled by Rybakina who struck back relentlessly, eventually serving three consecutive aces to force a tiebreak, which she eventually won.
Gaining confidence from this, she raced to a 4-1 lead in the second set, before defending six break points across the next three games.
Rybakina held on and came through another deuce to make it 5-2, before coming back from 0-30 down to serve out for the win.
The Kazakh will play either Petra Martic or Anett Kontaveit in the semi-final.
Elsewhere American qualifier Jennifer Brady also came through t dispatch tw0-time Grand Slam winner Garbine Muguruza 6-7, 6-3, 6-4. Brady will now play either Simona Halep or Aryna Sabalenka in the semi-final.