Andy Murray spoiled Ivan Ljubicic's birthday celebrations, securing a semi-final berth at the Indian Wells hardcourt tournament with a 7-5, 7-6 (8/6) victory over the Croatian.
Murray, ranked fourth in the world and seeded fourth in the first Masters series event of the year, needed just over two hours to subdue Ljubicic, who had saved five match points in his win over Igor Andreev a day earlier.
Murray, meanwhile, has reached the semis without dropping a set, and will meet the winner of a later quarter-final between world number two Roger Federer and Spain's Fernando Verdasco.
Ljubicic, who turned 30 on Thursday, led 5-4 in the second-set tiebreaker, but Murray won the next two points on his own serve, then claimed the victory on his second match point.
Murray broke Ljubicic for a 5-4 lead in the second set, in a game in which the Croatian was irked by an electronic replay call on break point.
"It's just human mistake," said Ljubicic, who said the Hawkeye replay operator selected the second bounce of the ball rather than the first, which was well wide.
They played a let, but he remained rattled and duly dropped his serve, although he broke back to take the set to the tiebreaker.