Defending champion Andy Murray will bid to reach the St Petersburg Open final on Saturday when he takes on the player he defeated to win the title 12 months ago.
Murray faces world number 16 Fernando Verdasco of Spain, an opponent he has beaten in each of their three previous meetings on the ATP tour, after a tough 7-6 (7/5) 7-5 quarter-final win over Serbian Janko Tipsarevic.
"It was a tough win, but I tried to keep myself concentrated, played every ball up to the end and it worked," Murray told BBC Sport.
At one stage Tipsarevic looked well set to take the last-eight clash to a deciding set, only for Murray to move up a gear in the closing stages of a match which lasted two hours and 10 minutes.
Murray first played Verdasco at a Futures tournament in Segovia, Spain, in 2003, long before he came to prominence.
The tussles between the pair since then have been one-way traffic in Murray's favour.
Verdasco meanwhile admitted he would be looking to avenge last year's defeat, saying: "I lost to Murray in the final last year, so this time I'm hoping for revenge.
"To do that I will have to be more confident in myself and use my chances."
Murray is bidding to win his fifth title of the year, having also reached the US Open final and he has already secured his place in the end-of-year Masters Cup.
Murray revealed he had achieved his goals for the year, saying: "I wanted to try and get into Shanghai this year and finish in the top 10. Last year I missed three months with a wrist injury and I was one win away from getting into the Masters Cup."