Gilles Simon's luck ran out at the Estoril Open as he was sent packing in the quarter-finals by Pablo Carreno Busta, but Nick Kyrgios remained on track to return to the final on Friday.
Top seed Simon had to fight back from a set down to beat French compatriot Paul-Henri Mathieu on Thursday, but Carreno Busta had his number in a 6-3 6-4 victory in the last eight.
It was the first time the pair had met on the ATP World Tour and the Spaniard clinically dispatched two of the four break points he earned, while he did not drop a service game.
Another Frenchman stands in the way of Carreno Busta and the final, with third seed Benoit Paire getting the better of Guillermo Garcia-Lopez in a 7-6 (7-2) 6-2 victory.
On the other side of the draw, second seed Kyrgios - runner-up to Richard Gasquet 12 months ago - defeated Borna Coric 6-4 6-4.
Nicolas Almagro will be Kyrgios' opponent in the last four after the Spaniard saw off seventh seed Leonardo Mayer 6-4 7-6 (7-5).