Ashleigh Barty's moment in the sun has arrived, with her pursuit of a drought-breaking Australian Open title poised to heat up at Melbourne Park.
With a sweltering top of 39C tipped for Melbourne on Thursday, Barty will sweat it out against American 14th seed Sofia Kenin for a spot in Saturday's women's final.
The world No.1 is the headline act on Rod Laver Arena for women's semi-final day, vying to become the first local woman to reach the Open decider since Wendy Turnbull in 1980.
But Barty is wary of the dangerous Kenin despite having beaten her in four of their five past meetings, including last year's fourth-round clash at the French Open.
"She's an exceptional competitor," the Roland Garros champion said.
"Loves to put herself out there, test herself on the biggest stage. Have played her a number of times now, with some results going both ways.
"She has a great knack of controlling the court from the centre of the court and being that first-strike player.
"It's going to be important for me to try and nullify that if I can."
In the second semi-final, reigning Wimbledon champion Simona Halep will meet resurgent Spaniard Garbine Muguruza in a battle of two former world No.1s.
After scaling Mount Kilimanjaro in a fresh approach to her off-season routine, unseeded Muguruza has regained her mojo at Melbourne Park.
She beat Russian Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 7-5 6-3 to reach a first final four at a major since 2018, but Halep shapes as a major stumbling block on her path to the summit.
The Romanian fourth seed has glided into the semi-finals without dropping a set, reminiscent to her run to the final two years ago before falling to Caroline Wozniacki in a marathon decider.
The women's double-header will serve as an entree to Thursday night's mouth-watering men's semi-final, a milestone Roger Federer-Novak Djokovic matchup.
It's the 50th meeting between the two legends, winners of a combined 13 Open titles.
Seven-time champion Djokovic has the edge on Federer across their 14-year rivalry, boasting a 26-23 record and 10-6 win-loss ratio in grand slams.
In fact, the Swiss maestro hasn't beaten the Serb at a major since 2012, losing their past five encounters including last year's epic Wimbledon final.
Federer's quest to turn the tide of recent history will only be hampered by his battered 38-year-old body, coming off a gruelling five-set quarter-final win over American Tennys Sandgren.
Australian Associated Press