Former world number one Lleyton Hewitt is only a match away from his first appearance in a tournament final in two years at the ATP Tour's Hall of Fame Tennis Championships in Newport, Rhode Island.
Hewitt, ranked 233 in the world, will meet American Rajeev Ram in the semi-finals on Saturday (local time), as he attempts to win his first tournament since lifting the trophy at Halle in 2010.
The 31-year-old has 28 career titles to his name.
The winner of the semi-final will meet either defending champion John Isner or another American Ryan Harrison in the tournament decider after both won through to the last four.
Top seed Isner hammered 12 aces to defeat Izak van der Merwe 6-4, 7-6 (7-2), while Harrison was leading 6-4, 3-0 in his quarter-final when Germany's Benjamin Becker retired with an injury.
Meanwhile, Janko Tipsarevic and Juan Monaco reached the Stuttgart clay court semi-finals with the top-seeded Serb surviving a gruelling quarter-final against German Bjorn Phau.
Tipsarevic saved four match points as he claimed a 6-7 (6-8), 7-6 (7-2), 6-4 victory in just under three hours.
The 28-year-old Tipsarevic will face Brazil's Thomaz Bellucci, who defeated Germany's Cedrik-Marcel Stebe 6-4, 6-1, in the semi-finals.
The second-seeded Monaco eased past Slovakian qualifier Pavol Cernevak 6-1, 7-5 and will next meet Spaniard Guillermo Garcia-Lopez, who thumped German wildcard Dustin Brown 6-0, 6-3.
In other ATP World Tour events, Spanish top seed David Ferrer remains on track for the Swedish Open title in Bastad after beating compatriot Tommy Robredo 6-3, 4-6, 6-0 in the quarter-finals.
Another Spainiard, top seed Fernando Verdasco, is still alive at the Croatian International in Umag after defeating Russian Andrey Kuznetsov 6-2, 6-2.
ABC/AFPTags: sport, tennis, united-states First posted July 14, 2012 11:01:54