Former Wimbledon winner Elena Rybakina needed a mere 64 minutes to power into the Abu Dhabi semi-finals as she crushed lucky loser Cristina Bucsa 6-1, 6-4 on Friday.

Rybakina beat the Spaniard for the second time in as many months, rallying from 3-1 down in the second set.

The Kazakh who triumphed at the All England Club in 2022 and reached the Australian Open final 13 months ago  will bid for the final against Liudmila Samsonova.

The eighth seed booked her spot with a similar easy win, upsetting former Roland Garros champion and fourth seed Barbora Krejcikova 7-5, 6-4. 

Samsonova holds a formidable 4-0 career record over Rybakina, who lost just eight points in her dominating opening set against the 74th-ranked Busca.

Top seed Rybakina went down a break in the second set but recovered in style, winning five of the last six games with the loss of just five points on first serve.

At the bottom of he draw, Adelaide finalist and seventh seed Daria Kasatkina will take on sixth seed Beatriz Haddad Maia, playing the semis here for a second consecutive edition.

The Brazilian knocked out second seed Ons Jabeur 6-3, 6-4 in 90 minutes a day after struggling to a second-round win – longest of the WTA season – which took more than three and three-quarter hours over Magda Linette.

Haddad Maia stands 2-0 over Jabeur, top Arab player in the women’s game and a local crowd favourite in the USE capital. The winner backed up her defeat of three-time Grand Slam finalist Jabeur in a 2023 Roland Garros quarter-final.

Kasatkina defeated Romanian Sorana Cirstea 6-2, 6-0.

Jabeur was not helped against Haddad Maia by 28 unforced errors.