A steadfast Dan Evans's efforts were in vain during a three-set Canadian Open with Pablo Carreno Busta, as the Spaniard advanced to the showpiece event.
However, the big-serving and aggressive Carreno Busta edged ahead in a tightly-fought first set before he was broken by Evans - never afraid to approach the net - in the second.
A wonderful passing backhand down the line saw Carreno Busta break back before the 31-year-old was presented with the chance to wrap up the match in the tie-break, which he failed to do.
Evans levelled proceedings but was blown away by his counterpart in the third and final set, as Carreno Busta advanced to the final courtesy of a 7-5, 6-7(7), 6-2 victory.
"It was fun for the crowd but for me it was tough. I had a match point in the second set but he served pretty good so I couldn't do anything. When you have a match point and have to play another set, it's always hard to do it," Busta said on his on-court interview.
"Mentally I think I was very good. Probably the beginning of the third set was the hardest part of the match. But after that I thought I had to be more aggressive, try to push a lot, try to go to the net, and it was good."
Carreno Busta ended the match with a 73% win rate on his first serve and just one double fault compared to Evans's six, as the world number 23 prepares to battle Hubert Hurkacz - who defeated Casper Ruud - in his first-ever Masters 1000 final.
"This week, I don't know why but the level was unbelievable. I played really good matches at the beginning of the tournament. Yesterday [against Jack Draper] was not the best match but I suffered and I competed a lot," the Spaniard added.
"Today was the same. Probably I didn't play the best tennis of the week but it's very important to win these kind of matches when you are not playing your best. Happy to be in the final. For sure I'm excited."
Halep recovered from a slow start to win 2-6 6-3 6-4 in a match where she posted a whopping 10 double faults, and she let out a roar of emotion after Pegula netted a backhand on match point.
The two-time Grand Slam winner has now gone level with Serena Williams by advancing to her 18th Masters 1000 final - the joint-most of any women's player since 2009.
Pliskova chose the worst time to make her sixth double fault of the day in the tie-break, as her long second serve on match point sealed Haddad Maia's spot in the showpiece event.No Data Analysis info