Top seed Andy Murray overcame a second-set implosion to beat Feliciano Lopez 6-0 1-6 6-4 and set up a Farmers Classic final against Sam Querrey.
Murray stormed out of the blocks, winning the first seven games of the match, but then contrived to lose the next six as Lopez levelled at 1-1.
But the Scot, coachless after his split from Miles Maclagan, got an early break in the third and held on to progress.
Yesterday Murray struggled with his serve as he battled past Alejandro Falla but this time it was his Spanish opponent who could not find his rhythm early on.
Murray held confidently then broke the Spaniard and it was one-way traffic as he raced into a 5-0 lead. And, though he needed two break points to do it in game six, he turned the first set into a whitewash.
Murray did not face a break point in the first set, but he immediately surrendered two in game one of the second. He recovered to take the game, but Lopez finally got on the board in the next as he held.
And that proved to be a turning point as Lopez rattled off six games in a row, turning the match around in remarkable fashion.
Again the match turned at the start of the third as Murray gained an immediate break. After that, the set started to go with serve as a semblance of normality was injected into proceedings.
And the early break proved to be decisive as Murray served out to seal his place in the final.
Murray said after the victory: "Throughout the whole match until the end there, there wasn't a point where I was playing well and he was also playing well.
"The third set was much closer but neither of us has played much since Wimbledon so maybe that explains the inconsistency."
The Scot expects a tough match against Querrey: "He won here last year and reached the final again this year so he obviously enjoys this court and will have a home crowd behind him. It will be very difficult."Reuse content