Murray never looked in trouble against the 28-year-old Spaniard
Andy Murray eased into the semi-finals of the Valencia Open after a simple 6-4 6-2 win against Albert Montanes.
Murray broke the Spaniard in the opening game and never looked in danger thereafter - despite Montanes breaking back to level in the opening set.
The Scot secured the first set with a delightful backhand drop-shot and then set about dominating his opponent to win the second in superb style.
Murray will now face Fernando Verdasco in the last four.
It was only the British number one's third match since a six-week lay-off with a wrist injury, and Murray will be glad he never had to move out of second gear.
"I played well today and tomorrow I hope to improve even more," said Murray. "My wrist is still giving me some pain but I am feeling better every day."
The 22-year-old later appeared at his post-match press conference with an ice-pack on his wrist.
"It's always good to make sure you take care of parts of your body that have shown some kind of a weakness in the past, " he said.
Murray secured the ideal start by breaking a lethargic Montanes in the opening game with some excellent ground strokes, although the Spaniard built on some home support to hit back in the sixth game when Murray dragged a looping forehand wide.
But Murray quickly responded to break again in the ninth and then sealed the set with an unanswered service game.
The Scot had complained of chilly temperatures in his victory against Argentine Leonardo Mayer on Thursday but certainly warmed up in style in the second set against Montanes.
He moved 4-0 ahead in a sublime display, with some deft touches at the net catching the eye.
Montanes battled bravely to prevent a whitewash but Murray was beginning to look back to his best by the time he wrapped up the match with a perfect forehand winner.
Second seed Nikolay Davydenko and fourth seed Fernando Verdasco further boosted their hopes of booking a place at the ATP World Tour Finals in London later this month with straight-sets wins.
Russian Davydenko was not at his best against Guillermo Garcia-Lopez but still had enough class to pull through 6-4 7-6, while Spain's Verdasco had things much easier in a 6-3 6-2 victory against compatriot Tommy Robredo.
Davydenko's Russian counterpart Mikhail Youzhny also booked his place in the last four with a comfortable 6-4 6-4 win against Gilles Simon from France.
At the Swiss Indoors in Basle, Roger Federer strolled into the last four in imperious style with a 6-3 6-2 win against Evgeny Korolev of Russia.
Federer next faces wildcard Marco Chiudinelli, a childhood friend in Basle, who will play his first semi-final of an injury-blighted career after beating Richard Gasquet.
"It's amazing to play Marco," Federer said. "I've never played a really good friend on the tour. I'm looking forward to it."
Novak Djokovic had to come from a set down to beat Switzerland's Stanislas Wawrinka.
The Serbian was out of sorts in the opening set but eventually found his game to win 6-3 6-7 2-6.
"He served exceptionally well for two sets and I was having a lot of trouble getting the ball back," Djokovic admitted.
Radek Stepanek from the Czech Republic also made it through to the last four after beating Croatia's Marin Cilic 4-6 6-3 6-3, while Chiudinelli brushed aside France's Gasquet 6-1 6-3.
Meanwhile, Andy Roddick has withdrawn from next week's Paris Masters.
The world number six is still nursing a knee injury that forced him to retire from the Shanghai Masters last month.
Roddick has already booked a place in the ATP World Tour Finals in London from 22-29 November.