Elina Svitolina queued up a possible breakthrough into a first-time top 10 ranking as she reached the semi-finals of the Dubai Tennis Championships on Thursday with a 6-0, 6-4 defeat of Lauren Davis.
The seventh seed, currently ranked 13th and winner of a fifth career title this month in Taipei, will line up on Friday against either top seed Angelique Kerber or Croatian Ana Konjuh after those two meet in a quarter-final at the Aviation club.
Kerber can regain the WTA top ranking from Serena Williams with a trophy performance on Saturday after losing the top honour after the American won the Australian Open.
"I'm really happy the way I started and the way I finished the match, I was being very aggressive and it worked really good," said Svitolina. "I was calm and positive today. I'm really happy with the performance.
"I was expecting she would do something different after losing 0-6 - it's always tough. I was expecting her to come back to the game.
"I was trying to stick to my plan and stay really positive. I knew that there would be some up-and-downs, but I tried to do more, more effort from my side so I didn't lose my focus too much."
Latvian Anastasija Sevastova put out the week's last Chinese hope, defeating Wang Qiang 6-4, 7-5 as the Asian lost her first sets of the week.
Sevastova will wait for an opponent from tenth seed Caroline Wozniacki and teenaged American CiCi Bellis, who upset 2012 champion and fourth seed Agnieszka Radwandka in the third round.
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