Andy Murray set up a semi-final clash against Roger Federer at Indian Wells with a battling 7-5 7-6 (8-6) win over Croatia's Ivan Ljubicic.
The Briton began well when he broke in the first game and, even though he was broken back in the sixth, responded in the 11th to win the set.
The players again exchanged breaks in the next set but Murray held his nerve in the breaker to seal the win.
Federer beat Spaniard Fernando Verdasco 6-3 7-6 to reach the last four.
The Swiss world number two, playing his first tournament since losing a five-set final to Rafael Nadal at the Australian Open, eased through the first set and looked to be cruising when he took a 4-1 lead in the second.
But the four break points he saved in the third game was an indicator of trouble to come and Verdasco finally capitalised on his chances against Federer's serve, breaking him twice to take a 6-5 lead.
However, the former world number one recovered to take the tie-break to set up a match against Murray on Saturday.
We know each others' games pretty well. If I want to beat him, I need to play one of my best matches
Murray on Federer
Federer, 27, has lost to Britain's number one five times in seven meetings, including their last three matches, and he admits he is unsure how to counter the Scot.
"He's a great player and great players are tough to play against," he said. "He's young, so you still have to figure him out a little bit. He's changing his game as time goes by. Every time you play him, he plays a bit different.
"Whereas for me, it's different. He knows what to expect. That's the advantage of a youngster. There are disadvantages in that they're a bit more inconsistent but he's been very consistent, at a young age, which is impressive to see."
And Murray, despite only recently recovering from a virus, insists he will go into the semi-final in confident mood, saying: "We know each others' games pretty well. If I want to beat him, I need to play one of my best matches.
"It's important to serve solid, make a lot of balls and not feel like you have to do anything special on each point to win against him."
The 21-year-old might hope for better conditions than he endured during his quarter-final against Ljubicic, though, the wind hampering both players' performances ensuring the match was hardly a hardcourt classic.
It seemed that Murray, who only played 50 minutes of the last round before opponent Tommy Robredo retired injured, would walk the match against Ljubicic, who had taken part in a three-hour marathon against Igor Andreev the previous day.
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