Cincinnati, Aug 22 :  Britain’s Andy Murray got all he could handle from Frenchman Richard Gasquet at the Western & Southern Open but managed to eke out a 4-6, 6-1, 6-4 victory to advance to the semifinals. Murray, a two-time champion at this hard-court event, played outside Cincinnati, Ohio, started sluggishly but seemed to take full command when he ran away with the second set on Friday, reports Efe.(Read:Andy Murray beats Novak Djokovic to win Rogers Cup; takes over Roger Federer in ATP rankings )

The third set, however, was up for grabs until the No.3 seed got a crucial break in the ninth game and then served out the contest in his first opportunity. The Scotsman, who won last week’s Montreal event, will take an eight-match winning streak into Saturday’s semi-final against either second-seeded Swiss Roger Federer, a six-time Cincinnati champion, or Spaniard Feliciano Lopez, who upset countryman Rafael Nadal on Thursday night.

Saturday’s other men’s semi-final will pit top-seeded Serbian Novak Djokovic, a 6-4, 6-1 winner Friday over Swiss Stanislas Wawrinka, against Ukrainian Alexandr Dolgopolov, who upset Czech Tomas Berdych 6-4, 6-2. In women’s action Friday in Cincinnati, top-seeded American Serena Williams topped Serbia’s Ana Ivanovic 3-6, 6-4, 6-2 to advance to a semifinal clash against Ukrainian Elina Svitolina, a 6-4, 2-6, 6-0 winner over Czech Lucie Safarova. The Western & Southern Open is one of the biggest hard-court events on the ATP and WTA calendars and a key tune-up for the U.S. Open, which gets underway on August 31.