BEIJING -- Sixth seed Jannik Sinner produced a master class in aggressive tennis to hand Carlos Alcaraz a 7-6 (4), 6-1 defeat in the semifinal of the China Open on Tuesday to book a title clash with the in-form Daniil Medvedev.
Sinner edged a tight first set in the latest chapter of his growing rivalry with world No. 2 Alcaraz before the Italian went on the offensive in the next to reel off the games and seal his fourth win over the Spaniard in seven meetings.
"I'd say every match against him is very tough," Sinner said. "We both show great respect and play great. Today I played a little better in the important moments.
"The second set was 6-1 but he had a lot of chances. I tried to stay focused. The first set was more of a roller coaster and I had to stay there mentally.
"I'm very happy about the performance."
Earlier, second seed Medvedev had an easier than expected 6-4 6-3 semi-final win over familiar rival Alexander Zverev.
This was the fifth meeting between the pair this year and although Russian world No. 3 Medvedev won three of the previous four, Zverev had won their most recent clash in Cincinnati.
Zverev won the Chengdu title last week, but the German's seven-match winning streak ended as Medvedev's strong serve saw him save all four breakpoints he faced.
"I'm really happy with my level. Roof closed, different conditions today, much faster," Medvedev said.
"Both of us are big servers so it came down to a few opportunities and I managed to serve better when I had breakpoints to save than he did."
Sabalenka, making her debut at No. 1 in Beijing, came from a break down in each set to see off qualifier Katie Boulter 7-5, 7-6 (2).
"In the key moments I played a little bit better than her," said Sabalenka, who will play 36th-ranked Jasmine Paolini in the last 16. "I think it was all about the last games in each set. I mean, she had the opportunity. I'm super happy that I didn't give her easily those sets."
The third-ranked Gauff had to rally from a break down in the deciding set to defeat Petra Martic 7-5, 5-7, 7-6 (2). The 48th-ranked Martic served for the match after breaking Gauff for a 5-4 lead, but the American broke back and then dominated the tiebreaker.
Fourth-seeded Jessica Pegula came from a set down to beat 39th-ranked Anna Blinkova 6-7 (2), 6-2, 6-1 in just over two hours. The American, who was a finalist at the Toray Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo on Saturday, will play 13th-seeded Julia Ostapenko next.
In other second-round matches, Marta Kostyuk ousted seventh-seeded Ons Jabeur 7-6 (5), 6-1, ninth-seeded Caroline Garcia beat Yulia Putintseva 6-3, 3-6, 6-3 and China's Wang Xinyu beat 11th-seeded Daria Kasatkina 6-4, 6-2.
Information from The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report.