Andy Murray moves in to the semis
Andy Murray made light work of Gilles Simon to move into the semi-final of the Western & Southern Open on Friday.
After play was delayed for 25 minutes after a nearby fire that forced an evacuation of the players' area, Murray took his time to get a grip on the contest but once he found it would not let go, eventually claiming a 6-3 6-3 success despite Simon's best efforts.
Afterwards, Murray revealed he had been in the shower when the alarm went off - after a fire started in a kitchen in the players' area.
"I was in the shower, so I had to get out quickly and get all my stuff on and get out of there," Murray revealed, before denying responsibility. "It wasn't me who burned anything."
When the match did finally get underway, the Scot sent an immediate message of intent by breaking his opponent in the very first game, but let that slip straight away as he allowed Simon to get that game back before moving in front.
However, having secured his second service game Murray managed to penetrate the Frenchman's defences for a second time - a break of serve he was able to reinforce this time, albeit only after winning a sixth game of the match that lasted over ten minutes.
From there the opening set was almost for the taking, with Simon - who has been suffering with a back problem in recent times - winning his next service game but then losing three on the spin as Murray moved one set from victory.
The second stanza followed a similar pattern - but this time Murray was able to protect his early break despite Simon's increasingly creative and desperate attempts to get back into the match. With the score at 5-2 Murray nearly broke his opponent once more to conclude the contest, but Simon raised his game to narrowly keep things going.
That nevertheless left Murray with the opportunity to serve for the match, an opportunity he took at the first time of asking after a fortunate net cord set him up for a sumptuous drop volley to bring an end to proceedings.
"I feel much better than last week," Murray said. "I just need to go to the US Open feeling my best. I need to keep improving every day until the US Open and hopefully I can do that."
Murray will face Mardy Fish in the final four.