(Brisbane) The young talent Holger Rune, 20, and the oldest Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov, 32, respectively seeded N.1 and N.2, qualified for the semi-finals of the ATP 250 tournament in Brisbane, Friday.

In the quarters, Rune defeated the Australian James Duckworth (116th) 6-2, 7-6 (8/6), before Dimitrov (14th) more easily dismissed another Australian, Rinky Hijikata (71st) , 6-1, 6-4.

Rune, who had to work hard to get rid of Duckworth after a hotly contested tiebreaker in the second set, will find on his way in the semi-finals the Russian Roman Safiullin (39th in the world), winner in a quarter between unseeded Italian Matteo Arnaldi (44th) 7-6 (7/4), 6-2.

Dimitrov, who continues his momentum from a thunderous end to last season – semi-final at the Masters 1000 in Shanghai then final at the Masters 1000 in Paris – is awaiting the identity of his opponent, who could be the Spaniard Rafael Nadal, if the ex-N. 1 in the world, back on the circuit after almost a year of absence, beats the Australian Jordan Thompson (55th) in the last quarter.

The Kazakh Elena Rybakina, seeded N.2 and 4th in the world, will be there in the semi-finals, after her victory against the Russian Anastasia Potapova (28th in the world) by her retirement after winning the first set, Friday.

Rybakina, who took advantage of an abdominal injury from her opponent which forced her to give up when the Kazakh had just won the first set 6-1, will face the Czech Linda Noskova (40th in the world), victorious in the final, for a place in the final. the only quarter between two unseeded players of the Russian Mirra Andreeva (58th) 7-5, 6-3.

In addition to Rybakina, 24, winner at Wimbledon in 2020, another winner of a Grand Slam tournament reached the semi-finals on Friday: Victoria Azarenka. The 34-year-old Russian, crowned at the Australian Open in 2012 and 2013, fought for 2h30 to overcome Latvian Jelena Ostapenko (12th in the world) 6-3, 3-6, 7-5.

Ostapenko, victorious at the Roland-Garros tournament in 2017, broke down at the worst time, while she was serving to come back to 6-6 in the final set.

Azarenka could face for a place in the final the world No.2 and seeded No.1, the Belarusian Aryna Sabalenka, opposed in the last quarter to the Russian Daria Kasatkina (18th in the world).