Andy Murray beats Gilles Simon to make Cincinnati last four

Andy Murray
Prior to Cincinnati, Murray had not won on hard courts since the Australian Open

Great Britain's Andy Murray eased past Gilles Simon to book a place in the semi-finals of the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati.

The number four seed won 6-3 6-3 and will meet Mardy Fish, who defeated Rafael Nadal, in the semis.

"I have to play my game against him and it works very well," said the Scot.

"I've seen many players try to blast him off. You have to wait for the right moments. I need to keep improving a few per cent every day."

In a contest dominated by long, baseline rallies, Murray proved too creative for the number 10 seed, regularly outwitting Simon with delicate drop shots.

After the match was delayed by a fire alarm, Murray and Simon traded early breaks before Murray decisively defeated the Frenchman's serve in the fifth game of the first set.

The world number four struggled to hold in the eighth game, but again broke the Simon serve in the ninth to take the lead.

If Murray had shown signs of struggling with his serve and ground strokes in the opening stanza, he showed more consistency in the second, and got a break in the fourth game.

From there his progress was routine, with victory sealed by yet another drop shot.

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