Andy Murray beats Lukas Lacko to reach Shenzhen Open semi-finals
Britain's Andy Murray defeated Slovakia's Lukas Lacko 6-3 7-5 to reach the Shenzhen Open semi-finals in China.
Murray, the world number 11 from Scotland, is chasing ranking points as he looks to qualify for November's ATP World Tour Finals in London.
In the last four on Saturday he will face Argentina's Juan Monaco, who earlier defeated Frenchman Richard Gasquet 7-6 (9-7) 6-4.
Murray is yet to reach a final since winning Wimbledon last year.
|ATP Race To London (top eight qualify)|
|Qualified: 1st: Novak Djokovic (8,150 points); 2nd: Roger Federer (7,020); 3rd: Rafael Nadal (6,645)|
|Still to qualify: 4th: Stan Wawrinka (4,795), 5th: Marin Cilic (3,935), 6th: Kei Nishikori (3,675), 7th: David Ferrer (3,535), 8th: Tomas Berdych (3,510), 9th: Milos Raonic (3,440), 10th: Grigor Dimitrov (3,355), 11th: Andy Murray (3,155)|
|Murray's schedule: Shenzhen - 250 points to the winner; Beijing - 500; Shanghai - 1,000; Paris - 1,000.|
A single break in each set was enough to wrap up a 79-minute victory, with the Briton striking in Lacko's opening service game and the 11th game of the second set before serving out for victory.
"I was a little bit frustrated at the start of the second set because I had chances to break and didn't take them," said Murray.
"It allowed him to get back into the match. He started playing better, was creating some chances. Hopefully, in the next few weeks, when I have chances to get myself ahead, I can do that a bit better."
Only the top eight players in the world qualify for the season finale and Murray needs a run of good tournament performances to reach the 02 Arena.
After Shenzhen, he is scheduled to play in Beijing and Shanghai before returning to Europe for the Paris Masters.
The other semi-final in Shenzhen will be between Spaniard Tommy Robredo and Colombia's Santiago Giraldo.
|Match time: 1hr 19mins|
|57%||1st serve %||61%|
|84%||1st serve win %||76%|
|62%||2nd serve win %||41%|