Andy Murray beats David Nalbandian to reach Japan Open semi-finals
British number one Andy Murray beat David Nalbandian 6-4 7-5 to reach the semi-finals of the Japan Open in Tokyo.
The Scot came through to win his 19th match out of his last 20, despite being broken by the Argentine while serving for victory at 5-4 in the second set.
Murray, 24, will face third seed David Ferrer in the last four after the Spaniard defeated Radek Stepanek.
Top seed Rafael Nadal beat Santiago Giraldo of Colombia 7-6 (8-6) 6-3 and will play American Mardy Fish next.
Murray, who won the Thailand Open on Sunday, broke Nalbandian in the fifth game to take the first set, but the second contained five breaks of serve in a row before the world number four served out for victory after one hour and 40 minutes on court.
"I played well," said Murray. "I served very well for the most part. He is one of the best returners in the game, so I didn't give him too many opportunities.
"At the end he started to come at me a little bit and I made a few mistakes and I got a little bit tentative.
"I served for the match a couple of times and let it slip, but I broke back immediately, so I was pleased with that."
Nadal, the defending champion from Spain, was pushed hard by the 53rd-ranked Giraldo, who forced a first-set tie-break.
"It was a tough first set. I thought I could play more relaxed in the second set. He is a very graceful player who can hit winners from everywhere," said Nadal.
"You are worried at 7-6 5-3, break point against. The match can change. You never know in tennis."
Ferrer beat seventh seed Stepanek of the Czech Republic 6-2 7-6 (7-3) while fourth-seeded Fish defeated Bernard Tomic of Australia 6-7 (7-5) 6-4 6-1 to ensure all top four seeds will contest the semi-finals.