Andy Murray rallied from a set and a break down against Gilles Simon to advance to his first semi-final since he won last year’s Wimbledon title, while top seed David Ferrer retired with a thigh strain at the Acapulco International on Thursday.
Second seed Murray twice fell behind in the second set, but recovered both breaks immediately to eke out a 1-6, 7-6 (7/4), 6-2 victory and stretch a winning streak against his French opponent to 12 matches.
Murray’s semi-finals opponent is to be Grigor Dimitrov, who needed two hours and 40 minutes to battle past Ernests Gulbis 4-6, 7-6 (7/2), 7-5 in the final quarter-final match of the day on Cancha Central.
An injury to his left abductor muscle denied Ferrer a chance of registering a fifth straight final appearance.
The three-time champion won the first set 6-2, but was 4-2 down in the second when he retired against South African fifth seed Kevin Anderson, who moved on to face Ukraine’s Alexandr Dolgopolov in the last four.
Anderson is next to play Ukraine’s Alexandr Dolgopolov, who defeated Ivo Karlovic of Croatia, 6-4, 7-6 (7/4). Anderson, who last week lost the Delray Beach final, is to play in his first semi-finals of an Open 500.
“It’s unfortunate to win a match like this, but hopefully he gets better,” Anderson said after the match.
On the women’s side of the tournament, top-seeded Dominika Cibulkova of Slovakia defeated New Zealand’s Marina Erakovic 6-4, 7-5 to set up a semi-final against China’s Shuai Zhang.
Zhang, the eighth seed, ousted Ajla Tomljanovic of Croatia 6-1, 5-7, 6-2.
Canada’s Eugenie Bouchard suffered a surprise 3-6, 6-4, 6-1 loss to France’s Caroline Garcia.
Garcia, 89th in the WTA rankings, is to play in the semi-finals against the US’ Christina McHale, who defeated third-seeded Kai Kanepi from Estonia 6-1, 2-6, 6-4.
In women’s doubles, Taiwan’s Chuang Chia-jung and China’s Shuai Zhang were defeated 6-4, 6-3 by Kristina Mladenovic of France and Galina Voskoboeva (2) of Kazakhstan.