Spaniard David Ferrer and France’s Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, the Auckland Classic’s top two seeds, have made it through to the last four with straight-sets victories.
World No.8 Ferrer grabbed his berth with a 6-3 6-4 win over Czech Lukas Rosol on Thursday.
Tsonga, ranked 10th, followed him by downing sixth seed Fabio Fognini of Italy 7-5 7-6 (7-4).
Ferrer, seeking a record fifth Auckland title, took just 71 minutes to make it into the semi-finals for the seventh time in 11 appearances in the Auckland tournament.
A wildcard entry after his early exit from the Qatar Open last week, Ferrer had a first-round bye and then beat Australian qualifier Matthew Barton in the second round.
“It was a good victory,” he said of his performance against Rosol.
“Playing well and better than the first day.”
He said the key for him was consistency, adding that “it’s my game”.
“The most important is my concentration about the match and trying to be focused point by point.”
Ferrer had not lost to Rosol in their five previous meetings and he broke his opponent’s serve twice to take the first set.
Neither player created a break opportunity in the second before the match suddenly ended as Rosol, serving at 4-5, lost the game to love.
“The second set, it was a very good match, very good points, and Lukas was pressing me a lot,” Ferrer said
“It was not easy for me. I took my chance in the last game.”
Ferrer will face unseeded American Jack Sock, the world No.26, on Friday for a place in the final.
The pair have met once before, with Ferrer winning in Stockholm in 2013.
Tsonga’s victory over world No.21 Fognini featured some excellent rallies and delicate shot-making.
But there were also a number of unforced errors from both players, although Tsonga was the steadier on the big points.
“I’m pretty happy with the way I played even if it is difficult because the surface is really fast,” he said.
“You do a lot of mistakes because of that, but it’s good and I’m really happy to go through.”
Tsonga didn’t drop serve, having to save just one break point, and that part of his game was a particular source of satisfaction.
“That’s the most important thing in my game today,” he said.
“If I’m really strong on the serve, I know I can beat many guys and so I try to be focused on it.”
Tsonga will next face Spanish eighth seed Roberto Bautista Agut, against whom he has a 2-0 record.
Bautista Agut won his quarter-final against third seed John Isner 7-5 2-6 6-3.
It avenged his semi-final defeat to Isner in 2014, when the American went on to claim his second Auckland title.
Sock, 23, booked his spot by upsetting fourth-seeded South African Kevin Anderson, the world No.12 and a semi-finalist 12 months ago, 1-6 6-4 6-4.