Katie Boulter’s run in the Tianjin Open was brought to an end after a battling three-set defeat to top seed and former world number one Karolina Pliskova.
The Briton snatched the first set and was a break up in the decider but ultimately succumbed to a 7-5 0-6 3-6 loss to her Czech opponent in the quarter-finals.
However, the 22-year-old’s run to the last eight – having beaten Maria Sakkari and Barbora Krejcikova this week – will likely propel her into the top 100 in the rankings.
In a back-and-forth first set, Boulter, playing against a top-10 opponent for the first time, claimed an early break, which she immediately surrendered.
The current world number 101 dropped serve to trail 5-4 but then reeled off three games in a row, including back-to-back breaks, to gain the initiative in the contest.
That seemed to fire up Pliskova, however, who used her intimidating serve and groundstrokes to overpower Boulter, who was bagelled in the second set.
Boulter, though, stole a march on her opponent in the decider as she went 2-0 ahead but, as in the first set, Pliskova broke straight back.
Pliskova claimed the decisive break in the seventh game and went on to wrap up victory in two hours and eight minutes.