Andy Murray fought back from a set down to beat Jason Kubler and reach the semi-finals of the Lexus Surbiton Trophy.
The 36-year-old, the last remaining British man in the singles, scraped past the Australian 3-6 6-3 6-4 as he continued his preparations for Wimbledon next month .
Murray, who is ranked 43 in the world and needs to climb 11 spots in order to be seeded at his home tournament, will now face another Australian, Jordan Thompson, for a place in Sunday’s final.
Both Murray and Kubler battled at a high intensity despite the heat and the 30-year-old’s fast serve paid dividends as he took an early 3-2 lead which left the three-time grand slam winner frustrated as he failed to find any rhythm.
Kubler replicated Wednesday’s first set dominance over Britain’s Ryan Peniston as Murray struggled to deal with his opponent’s shot selection and the Scot was made to scramble across the turf before losing the opening set 6-3.
The former world number one appeared rejuvenated by the home support, though, and it finally felt like he was beginning to find his feet after taking a 2-1 lead in the second set, only to be pegged back to 2-2.
Kubler voiced his satisfaction through a loud “come on” as the game approached the hour mark with the second set now locked at 3-3.
Murray responded with a frustrated groan as the world number 69 began to ramp up the pressure with powerful serves and verbal celebrations.
However, Kubler’s shouts ebbed away as second seed Murray’s precision started to force errors and the home favourite eased into a 5-3 lead before an ace saw him claim the last game to bring the tie level.
Murray started the third set where he left off and cruised into a two-game lead despite his remonstrations with the umpire over a Kubler shot which was called in.
Kubler was one point from pulling a game back but the experienced Murray came out on top after a series of exciting rallies as he stormed into a 3-0 lead and seemingly on course for victory.
But, fresh from a medical break, Kubler’s forehand shots began to fizz past a helpless Murray as the Australian’s never-say-die attitude began to shine through and he clawed the score back to 3-2.
Both players’ serves were important weapons on the day and it was further demonstrated when Murray found himself serving for the match at 5-4.
Murray’s power mixed with his deft slice left Kubler with no answers as he succumbed to the quality of his opponent as the two-time Wimbledon champion claimed victory.
Earlier, Katie Boulter fought off Swiss opponent Viktorija Golubic to win in straight sets 7-5 6-2 to progress to a last-four showdown with Belgium’s Yanina Wickmayer .
Victory for Boulter confirmed her place as British number one for the first time at the expense of the injured Emma Raducanu.
Isabelle Lacy’s campaign came to an end when the 16-year-old fell to fellow Briton Yuriko Miyazaki 6-3 6-0.
Miyazaki advanced to the semi-finals where she will face compatriot Katie Swan, who batted back to beat Germany’s Tatjana Maria 3-6 6-3 6-4.
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