Top seed Jelena Ostapenko will face former champion Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in the semifinals of the Upper Austria Ladies Linz after both eased through their quarterfinal matches at the WTA 500 event on Friday. 

After a dramatic second-round win against Clara Tauson in which she saved match points, Ostapenko needed just 70 minutes to dispatch British qualifier Jodie Burrage, 6-1, 6-2, while Pavlyuchenkova ousted No.4 seed Elise Mertens 6-2, 6-3 in three more minutes to book a spot in just her second tour-level semifinal since 2022 knee surgery that forced her to miss eight months of action.

It was the first straight-sets match between Mertens and Pavlyuchenkova in their head-to-head history, which Pavlychenkova now leads 3-1.

"Our last match ... was 3 hours, and I was mentally prepared for similar," Pavlyuchenkova, who hit 32 winners to Mertens' eight and broke the Belgian four times, said afterwards. "I think I was tired already before the match!

"I'm so happy with my performance, because I think from the start 'til the end, I did so well. I was ready every point, because it doesn't matter the score, she's always there. I think that's one of the best qualities she has, such a good fighter."

Pavlyuchenkova's win against Mertens prevented the Top 4 seeds from advancing to the penultimate round. The other semifinal sees No.2 seed Ekaterina Alexandrova take on No.3 seed Donna Vekic, after both won their quarterfinal matches in straight sets. 

Highlights: Alexandrova def. Potapova | Vekic def. Burel

Vekic started the day with a 6-0, 7-6(3) win over France's Clara Burel -- a match she led 6-0, 3-1, 0-40 -- before Alexandrova, the 2018 Linz finalist, toppled defending champion Anastasia Potapova 6-2, 7-6(8). Vekic leads their all-time head-to-head, 2-1.

Pavlyuchenkova will take a 4-1 head-to-head record against Ostapenko into the semifinals as she bids for her first appearance in a singles final since finishing runner-up to Barbora Krejcikova at Roland Garros in 2021. She hasn't won a tour-level singles title since 2018, but nine years ago, she beat German Anna-Lena Friedsam in the Linz final, and said it would "a dream" to win in Austria again.

"It's close, but so far at the same time," Pavlyuchenkova said. "I haven't had a trophy in a long time, so it would be really nice. It's nice to be in the semifinals, so I'll try to enjoy that, and of course, there are serious opponents out there, so I'm just going to take it match by match."

The Latvian, meanwhile, is seeking a second appearance in the final in Linz after finishing runner-up to Coco Gauff four years ago.