St Petersburg:Second-seeded Andy Murray beat third-seeded Mikhail Youzhny 6-2, 5-7, 7-6 (1) on Saturday to advance to the final of the St Petersburg Open.
In his fourth final this season, Murray will face sixth-seeded Fernando Verdasco of Spain, who beat Croatian qualifier Marin Cilic 6-2, 6-3.
Murray won his second career title in San Jose in February and was runner-up at Doha and Metz.
The 16th-ranked Briton opened strongly, taking a 4-0 lead in the first set. Youzhny, 2004 champion and runner-up in 2002, improved his play in the second set and put in 70 percent of his first serves. He broke Murray in the 12th game to level 1-1.
Youzhny broke the Scot in the fourth game of the third set and served for the match at 5-3. The Russian was 30-0 up before he double-faulted and lost three more points.
"Two good serves and the match could have been in my hands," Youzhny said. "But I hurried up, wanted to close it quickly. That does not work with Andy. A double fault and then I twice hit the net - and the game slipped away."
Murray saved a match point with a precise forehand down the line on his serve in the next game to level 5-5 and allowed Youzhny just one point on a tiebreaker to win the match.
"Of course, the match point was the key moment," Murray said. "I thought I'd lost ... When I won that key (point), he got nervous and made quite a lot of mistakes."
Murray had 10 aces to Youzhny's three.
The 30th-ranked Verdasco has not dropped a set on the way to his first final this season. He won four straight games in the first set and made a decisive break in the fourth game of the second.
"He played very aggressively and I had to stay focused on every point," said Verdasco. "I'm happy to be in the final but I will be playing a very good player."
The 102nd-ranked Cilic, who upset fourth-ranked Nikolay Davydenko in the second round, was playing in his second career semifinal.