Robin Haase ended Andrey Rublev's reign at the Croatia Open Umag to move a step closer to his first ATP Tour title since 2012.
Sixth seed Haase saved six of the seven break points he faced against the defending champion as he triumphed 6-3 7-6 (8-6) in a quarterfinal tie that lasted one hour and 37 minutes.
The world number 38 will next face Guido Pella, who ousted Serbian Dusan Lajovic 7-6 (7-3) 7-5.
In the other half of the draw, surprise French Open semifinalist Marco Cecchinato reached the last four with a routine 6-4 6-1 victory over Laslo Djere in the final match of the day.
His reward is a clash with Marco Trungelliti - conqueror of Evgeny Donskoy in straight sets - on Saturday as the Italian bids to win his second title of the 2018 season.