ANDY Murray will meet Mardy Fish in the semi-finals of the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati after the American bundled Rafael Nadal out of the event in straight sets.
World number four Murray, who won the competition in 2008, was not at his peak in his quarter-final but never looked in serious danger of an upset at the hands of Gilles Simon, registering a 6-3 6-3 win to reach the last four.
In sweltering weather Murray extended his record against the Frenchman to seven wins from eight, but did have a little trouble with his serve in the first set.
Murray had to encounter a handful of shaky moments in a match that was played at a slow, often mundane pace, but a gradual improvement in his first-serve percentages - he won 78% of the points on it - saw him home in an hour and 35 minutes.
Fish, meanwhile, upset Rafael Nadal in straight sets to book a meeting with the Briton.
Looking ahead to the match, Murray said: “He’s played his best tennis the last year or so. If you look at his game, it hasn’t changed a whole lot. It’s just confidence of winning matches and understanding how to play his game most effectively.
“He’s in good shape. He’s been very, very consistent, which maybe he wasn’t in the past. That’s why his ranking has gone.
“I need to keep improving a few percent every day.”
Seventh seed Fish ousted the second seed 6-3 6-4 - his first win over Nadal in seven attempts.