Andy Murray took his revenge for a US Open finals loss to Roger Federer six weeks ago with a 3-6, 6-3, 7-5 comeback win in the semi-finals of the Madrid Masters on Saturday.
The Scot seeded fourth will play for the trophy - and potentially his second straight Masters shield after winning Cincinnati in August - when he takes on either Rafael Nadal or Gilles Simon.
Murray fired 14 aces and broke in the penultimate game to turn the tables on the Swiss second seed to improve his record in their series to 2-1 this year after a victory in Dubai during February.
"That was a great match, a top five match for me," said Murray of his performance this season.
"When you play Federer or Nadal, you have a respect for them, you expect a tougher match.
"When it's close they can raise their game and they come back when they are behind."
The confident Scot, now a "man" in the words of Federer, won his 47th match of the season against 14 defeats as he cements his world number 4 status.
"Against Roger it's difficult to play, once he gets confidence he's hard to stop," said Murray.
"Today I changed my serve. He missed a lot when I wasn't expecting it."
Federer looks like proving to himself this week in Spain that his decision to end a three-week hiatus from tennis by playing again was a wise decision.
The Swiss said that he will play his home event from Monday in Basle after taking three weeks off broken by a return in Madrid.
"Andy served very well and returned with much more confidence than he did in New York," said the 13-times grand slam champion Swiss.
"It was an even match, a close match at the end.
"He had more opportunities in the third set. This surface plays so quick, it was a frustrating loss in some respects.
"But if someone is serving well there is not a lot you can do."
Federer said that Murray, 21, has matured on court.
"He has improved at his own pace. he's grown up a little bit and become a man. He's taken that step well, he's now more relaxed."
Murray said he was not bothering to watch the Nadal-Simon match, leaving that chore to his coach. The Scot is bidding for his fourth title this season.