Tokyo, 8 October 2011 | AP

Top-seeded Rafael Nadal reached the semi-finals of the ATP’s Japan Open on Friday, but the run of Australian teenager Bernard Tomic was halted by Mardy Fish.

The fourth-seeded American beat Tomic 6-7 (5-7) 6-4 6-1.

“I just had to hang in there and fight as hard as I could and try to take advantage of any opportunity I had there late in the second set,” said Fish, ranked eighth in the world.

“I think it was 4-4 and I am pretty sure he was up 40-0 with a serve and I came back to win that game … and that was sort of a turning point,” he added.

Looking forward to his meeting with Nadal, Fish said it is “always a pleasure” to play the Spaniard.

“He is one of my good friends out here. Hopefully it will be fun.”

The tournament’s top four seeds will contest the semi-finals, with Andy Murray winning his quarter-final against David Nalbandian 6-4 7-5 in just less than 100 minutes.

Briton Murray will play third seed and 2007 champion David Ferrer of Spain, who beat Radek Stepanek of the Czech Republic, 6-2 7-6 (7-3).

Defending champion Nadal outclassed Santiago Giraldo 7-6 (8-6) 6-3 but was pushed early by the 53rd-ranked Colombian.

In the second set, Nadal broke early but Giraldo had a chance to break back late in the match.

“It was a tough first set. I thought I could play more relaxed in the second set,” Nadal said. “He is a very graceful player who can hit winners from everywhere.”

The Colombian earned a break point with Nadal serving for the match at 5-3, but the Spaniard hit a passing winner to get to deuce and ended the match moments later.

“You are worried at 7-6, 5-3, break point against,” Nadal said. “The match can change.

“I need to be more aggressive with my forehand.

“I was long and high today. I have to play more inside the court.”