Murray sets up Ferrer semi-final

‘I’m hunting, not hunted’ – Osaka

Andy Murray and David Ferrer are set to square off in Saturday's semi-finals at the Paris Masters.

Second seed Murray came through his toughest battle of the tournament to date, beating 10th seed Richard Gasquet 7-6 (9-7), 3-6, 6-3.

Murray claimed an early break in the first set and looked on course after coming out on top during a marathon third game in which Gasquet applied heaps of pressure on the Scot's serve.

But the Frenchman would find the opening a couple of games later to level the scores and even led 5-3 in the tie-break.

Murray was able to save a set point with a superb backhand winner before going on to win the opener.

"It was obviously an important shot in the match," said Murray. "I kind of assumed or anticipated that he was going to come into the net. I obviously had to hit it well, had to hit it clean to get it past him and put a little bit of, I don't know, sort of swerve on the ball to bring it back into the court."

Gasquet kept pressing, however, and would take the second set not long after breaking for a 4-2 lead, but Murray would finish the match the stronger of the two, breaking in the ninth game of the decider before sealing the victory after a lengthy two hours and 39 minutes.

"I feel like I have been striking the ball well this week," said Murray. "I think the first two matches obviously were extremely good. I think at periods of today's match, I also played extremely well. At the beginning of the second set… I feel like my level dropped. You really want to make sure your level stays high after winning a set like that."

Ferrer, meanwhile, managed to contain the booming serve of six-foot-nine American John Isner, surviving a second-set wobble to complete a 6-3, 6-7 (6-8), 6-2 victory.

The Spaniard returned superbly throughout, earning a whopping 15 break points to Isner's four, and converting five of them to the American's one.

Isner was only able to win 59 per cent of first-serve points against the Spaniard, and that wasn't enough to repeat the performance he put in against Roger Federer on Thursday.