Adelaide: Former world number one Daniil Medvedev set up an Adelaide International semi-final against either Novak Djokovic or Denis Shapovalov Friday with a command performance in the countdown to the opening Grand Slam of the year.
The Russian, runner-up at the last two Australian Opens, proved too strong for compatriot Karen Khachanov in a straightforward 6-3, 6-3 win.
Serbian top seed Djokovic, bidding for a 92nd career title and first in Adelaide since 2007, locks horns with Canada's Shapovalov in an evening clash.
"Never easy to play your compatriot. I'm happy that I really managed to raise my level, particularly in the end of both sets and really happy to be through to the semis," said third-seeded Medvedev.
"I'm playing well right now and honestly that's all that matters."
Little separated them through the first six games before Medvedev reeled off 12 of 15 points to break twice and land the opening set.
Khachanov opened up a 3-1 lead in the second but couldn't sustain the pressure as Medvedev came storming back.
Japan's Yoshihito Nishioka also progressed, outlasting Australian Alexei Popyrin 7-6 (7/4), 6-7 (8/10), 6-2 to continue his fine early season form, having already upset world number 11 Holger Rune.
It set up a semi-final against American Sebastian Korda after his 7-5, 6-1 win over sixth seed Jannik Sinner 7-5, 6-1, with the Italian receiving treatment to his hip at the end of the first set and appearing hampered in the second.
World number five Aryna Sabalenka held off Marketa Vondrousova to book her place in the last four in the women's draw, boosting her Australian Open preparations.
The Belarusian overcame hot conditions to dismiss her Czech opponent 6-3, 7-5 and continue her strong 2022 late-season form where she finished runner-up at the WTA Finals.
The second seed's reward is a last-four clash with Romanian veteran Irina-Camelia Begu, who upset Russian world number nine Veronika Kudermetova 7-5, 6-4.
"It was a tough match and she fought until the end and I was really happy I was able to win this match," Sabalenka, who is yet to win a Grand Slam, said.
"I think because I'm staying really calm and I feel like I'm at home here, that's why I play really well. I haven't dropped a set yet. Hopefully, I'll keep going like that."
Sabalenka broke for 3-2 in the first set and closed it out with her 15th winner.
A double break in the second set put her 4-1 ahead before Vondrousova battled back, only to be denied as the Belarusian regrouped to take the match.
The Australian Open starts in less than two weeks.
Jabeur beats Kostyuk to reach semis
Women's top seed Ons Jabeur went 3-0 behind in the first set against Ukrainian Marta Kostyuk, but rallied to win 7-6 (7/5), 7-5, boosting her Australian Open preparations.
"I didn't start the way I wanted to ... I just kept telling myself to put two or three balls in to get in the game," said Jabeur.
"I'm pretty happy I didn't go three sets with her."
The Tunisian will take on rising Czech teen Linda Noskova for a place in the final after she outlasted veteran Victoria Azarenka 6-4, 6-7 (3/7), 7-6 (8/6).