Andy Murray came through a tricky encounter with Tomas Berdych on Thursday, beating the fifth-seeded Czech 6-3, 7-5 to reach the semifinals at the Dubai Championships.

Murray had only beaten Berdych once in four previous meetings, but he broke early in the first set and saved four break points before claiming it.

Both players struggled with their serves in the second set, breaking one another twice in the first six games.

Murray got the crucial break to leave him serving for the match at 6-5 and though he squandered six match points, he finally closed out the win when Berdych's backhand went long.

Murray could play top-seeded Novak Djokovic next in a rematch of their Australian Open semifinal. Djokovic faces Janko Tipsarevic later.