Kyle Edmund battled hard but ulitmately crashed out of the Brisbane International to world No. 3 Grigor Dimitrov as the Bulgarian set up a mouth-watering encounter with Australia’s Nick Kyrgios.
The Brit put up a good fight to claw his way back into the contest from a set down but was eventually beaten 3-6 7-5 (7-3) 4-6 as his failure to record a win over a top-10 player continued.
While he was taken out of Brisbane, it appeared as though he may be a doubt for the Australian Open as Edmund went over on his ankle midway through the deciding set.
The 22-year-old let out a cry of anguish before rolling on the floor, with Dimitrov immediately hopping over the net to help his opponent, who then underwent treatment on the sidelines.
With Andy Murray already heading home due to an ongoing hip problem and Johanna Konta withdrawing from Brisbane with her own hip issue, a big injury to Edmund would have added an even bigger dampener to British hopes in Melbourne.
However, he was able to play on and, although he failed to win another game, he will be pleased to have at least been able to continue, though he will learn more about the extent of the injury in the coming days.
Top seed Dimitrov will continue the defence of his crown against world No. 21 Kyrgios, in what will be an intriguing rematch of their Cincinnati Masters final.
It will be their third meeting, with Kyrgios yet to beat the Bulgarian.
Kyrgios had earlier battled back from a set down to beat Alexandr Dolgopolov 1-6 6-3 6-3 on Friday to book his spot in the semi-finals.
The third seed had his left knee strapped and made a slow start to the contest.
However, after falling behind, he sprung into life and he insisted that he turns it on ‘like a tap’.
The 22-year-old said: ‘As bad as it is to say, it’s kind of like a tap.
‘I can turn it on when I want to.’
In the other semi-final Australian wild card Alex de Minaur will face America’s Ryan Harrison.
Harrison had been due to face Andy Murray in the second round but after avoiding the Scot, who withdrew from both Brisbane and the Australian Open with his ongoing hip injury, and will now get a shot of reaching the final.