SHENZHEN, China (AP) -- Andy Murray was one win away from his first final of the year after beating Lukas Lacko of Slovakia 6-3, 7-5 in the Shenzhen Open quarterfinals on Friday.
Murray saved all four break points he faced.
He hasn't reached a final since winning Wimbledon last year, after which he needed back surgery and didn't return until this year. He accepted a wild card into Shenzhen to improve his ranking from 11th into the top eight, thereby qualifying for the ATP Finals in London in November.
On Saturday, Murray will take on Juan Monaco of Argentina, who eliminated third-seeded Richard Gasquet 7-6 (7), 6-4 with a break in the last game. Monaco has reached the semis for the third time in his last four events.
Fourth-seeded Tommy Robredo of Spain outlasted eighth-seeded Andreas Seppi of Italy 6-4, 6-7 (5), 6-3, hitting 19 aces in the 2-hour, 36-minute quarterfinal at Shenzhen Longgang Sports Center.
Up next, sixth-seeded Santiago Giraldo of Colombia, who defeated Viktor Troicki of Serbia 7-6 (6), 6-3. Troicki upset top seed David Ferrer a day earlier, but lost his serve twice to Giraldo.