Cape Town - Defending champion Dominic Thiem was sent packing in the quarter-finals of the Rio Open after succumbing in straight sets to Fernando Verdasco.
Thiem - who was the defending champion and had won the Argentina Open last weekend for his ninth career title - had been the highest ranked player left in the event after Marin Cilic crashed out in the last 16.
But the Canadian was unable to make it back-to-back tournament victories after losing 6-4, 6-0 to eighth seed Verdasco.
The Spaniard will now face fifth seed Fabio Fognini in the semi-finals after the Italian came from behind to beat Aljaz Bedene 6-7, 6-3, 6-1.
In the other semi-final, sixth seed Diego Schwartzman will take on fellow South American Nicolas Jarry.
Gael Monfils - who had taken the scalp of Cilic - couldn’t follow up his big win and was beaten 6-3, 6-4 by Argentina’s Schwartzman.
Semi-final opponent Jarry will be making his first appearance in the final four of an ATP World Tour event after he caused an upset against seventh seed Pablo Cuevas 7-5, 6-3.