Djokovic, Nishikori through in Montreal

Novak Djokovic and Kei Nishikori have booked their spots in the Rogers Cup semi-finals with wins over Ernests Gulbis and Rafael Nadal respectively.

Djokovic was forced to come from a set down to beat the unseeded Gulbis 5-7, 7-6 (7), 6-1 in a battle that last two hours and 30 minutes.

The world number one looked set for a straightforward day at the office when he broke Gulbis in the first set to take a 4-2 lead. However, the Latvian was in no mood to roll over and broke back in the seventh game to level matters, before breaking Djokovic once more in the 11th game for a 6-5 advantage from where he served out the first set.

A shock result appeared to be on the cards when Gulbis broke to take a 3-2 lead in the second set, but Djokovic returned the favour before the remainder of the set went according to serve. It was again Gulbis who took the early advantage, going 6-4 up in the tiebreaker, but he could not covert the two match points afforded to him, and Djokovic made him pay, recovering to take the breaker 9-7.

From there on in it was one-way traffic as Djokovic claimed three breaks of serve to race through the decider 6-1.

The Serb will face Jeremy Chardy in the semi-finals after the Frenchman saved seven match points to edge a titanic battle with 16th seed John Isner 6-7 (9), 7-6 (13), 7-6 (4) in a match that lasted three hours and eight minutes.

Fourth seed Kei Nishikori had a much easier time of it, downing seventh seed Rafael Nadal 6-2, 6-4 in an hour and 23 minutes.

The victory was the first time in eight matches that the Japanese ace was able to trump the 14-time major winner, having broken the Spaniard's serve twice in each of the two sets.

In fact, Nadal's serve was a weak point throughout and last year's US Open runner-up was able to play aggressively when receiving for the most part.

Nishikori raced to a 5-1 advantage in the first set after Nadal had been broken in both the third and fifth games, an advantage he never relinquished to claim the opener.

Two more early breaks of serve followed for Nishikori – again the third and fifth games – and while Nadal was able to pull one break back shortly after, he was never able to get on top of the world number four, who takes on Andy Murray in Saturday's semi-final.

Murray, a two-time grand slam winner, booked his place in the last four with a 6-4, 6-4 victory over France's Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in Saturday's final match in Montreal.