Novak Djokovic recovered from a slow start to defeat David Ferrer 7-5 7-5 for a semi-final spot at the Miami Open.
The world No.1 and top seed fell behind two early breaks as Spain’s Ferrer celebrated his 33rd birthday with a rousing first-set start.
But Djokovic, bidding to defend his title at Crandon Park, slowly reeled in the persistent veteran whose game is built on his retrieving and durability.
Djokovic prepared to serve out his eighth match win in a row against Ferrer with a 5-4 lead in the second set.
But the Spaniard spoiled that scenario with a service break.
Djokovic broke back, then served it out in emphatic style.
He will next face American John Isner, who upset Japanese fourth seed Kei Nishikori 6-4 6-3.
The win marked the second straight match in which Djokovic was under pressure.
The Serb star came back from a set and a break down in a fourth-round win over Alexandr Dolgopolov.