OLIVIA Rogowska might be the second seed, but she will still start as an underdog in Saturday's Bendigo International semi-finals.
Rogowska faces the red-hot Casey Dellacqua, who is unbeaten in Bendigo.
It's a daunting task against the defending champion.
Dellacqua has only dropped one set in her eight matches in Bendigo in the past fortnight.
But, after a first-round exit in the first of two $50,000 Pro Tour events, Rogowska has been building her form and confidence to a point where she feels primed for an upset.
"I'm starting to play better tennis every match, so hopefully (Saturday) will be even better," she said.
"I'm starting to serve a bit better and hit my forehand a bit better, so I'm feeling confident."
Rogowska dug deep in Friday's quarter-final after dropping the opening set against Monique Adamczak.
The Melbourne ace could feel her frustration growing as Adamczak took the set 6-2.
With her tournament on the line, Rogowska went on the attack.
She targeted Adamczak's serve and thumped her forehand at every opportunity - and it worked.
From 1-2 down in the second set, Rogowska won 11 of the next 13 games to triumph 2-6 6-2 6-2.
"The first set I was just playing a bit too passive, I was just letting her hit the ball a bit," Rogowska said.
"The second and third set I started going for my shots a bit more and being more aggressive and she started missing.
"I just fought really hard and ran really hard, so I'm really glad that I had a really good attitude at the end."
Rogowska can't afford another slow start against Dellacqua when they clash on court one, not before 11.30am.
Many expected Dellacqua would be challenged by Noppawan Lertcheewakarn in the re-match of last week's final.
But she was unstoppable in a 6-1 6-3 quarter-final rout of the Thai.
Lertcheewakarn struggled to make inroads on the Perth star's serve.
She converted one of only three break point chances, while Dellacqua kept the pressure on and broke five times from nine opportunities.
It was Dellacqua's 13th-straight win at the Nolan Street courts and she is well on track for a third title from as many tournaments in Bendigo.
There's still the possibility of an all-Australian final on Sunday after unheralded Brighton player Tammi Patterson shocked the fifth seed.
Patterson won in fine style, 6-4 6-2, against Japan's Sachie Ishizu in their quarter-final clash.
Patterson's serve was rock-solid and she didn't offer a break point opportunity.
Ishizu had no answers as the Victorian booked her spot in the semi-finals.
Patterson will face seventh seed Irena Pavlovic first-up on court one at 10.30am on Saturday.
The Frenchwoman faced another sterling challenge from giantkiller Ema Mikulcic, before prevailing in three sets 2-6 6-3 6-3.
Croatia's Mikulcic carried her outstanding run of form into the first set.
Buoyed by wins over top seed Irina Falconi on Thursday and in the first-round against former finalist Isabella Holland, Mikulcic had all the momentum early.
But the big-serving contest, featuring Mikulcic's 10 aces to her opponent's 14, eventually turned Pavlovic's way.
The Parisian was too good on the big points, but Mikulcic - who had to qualify for the first tournament - won admirers for her run to the final eight.