With the other seeds crashing around them in the earlier rounds of the competition, at least two of the last-four women remaining in the WTA Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championship make for familiar reading. Denmark's Caroline Wozniacki, seeded three, will face the favourite for the event, Simona Halep from Romania who is the top seed in the semi-final stages.

The popular Dane was suffering from an ongoing fever and had to endure a late night finish, before she could claim her position in the next round, to reach the semis in Dubai for a fifth consecutive time.

Despite all of that and an unpredictable first serve, she was able to defeat the Italian Flavia Pennetta 7-5 6-0. Pennetta was never really able to reproduce the form she had displayed in vanquishing the seventh-seed Angelique Kerber in the previous round, another of the big names to fall. Despite losing her serve twice during the first set, the Italian was never able to truly take advantage and fell away after losing that set during the second set.

Wozniacki now plays Halep in her next match, after the number one seed in Dubai struggled to complete her victory over Ekaterina Makarova. The Russian had been a beaten semi-finalist in the Australian Open recently, so was always likely to provide a challenge to Halep.

Indeed, the Romanian was almost broken in the seventh game of the decisive third set, before clinching a hard-fought 6-3 1-6 7-5 success.

The second semi-final is indicative of the results earlier in the week. With both the number two seed Petra Kvitova and number four seed Ana Ivanovic already out of the event, it has left a slightly unfamiliar semi-final instead between two of the up and coming players on the tour.

Karolina Pliskova won the all-Czech quarter-final battle against the higher-ranked Lucie Safarova to set up an intriguing match with Garbine Muguruza Blanco of Spain.

Pliskova came from a set behind to the number 11 seed to win 3-6 7-6 6-1 to maintain her strong recent form, following on from a semi-final place last week in Antwerp.

She is clearly a name to follow in future, with a tricky steep serve for opponents to come to terms with.

Unseeded Muguruza Blanco is a year younger than Pliskova at 21-years-old and upset the number 13 seed, her fellow Spaniard Carla Suarez Navarro who had put out Kvitova. She also had to come through a tense three-setter, winning 6-7 6-3 6-3. Navarro is well-known to her compatriot as they play doubles together, but all that was put aside in a highly competitive contest.