David Ferrer's struggles to hold serve sent Andy Murray on his way to a 6-2 6-3 victory over the Spaniard in the China Open semi-finals on Saturday.
Murray is fighting to close the gap on world number one Novak Djokovic, and victory in Sunday's final would see him close within 1,555 ranking points ahead of next week's Shanghai Masters.
It was Ferrer who made the first breakthrough, but his vulnerability on his own serve was evident from the start.
The fifth seed held a marathon second game before making the break, but was helpless to stop Murray marching into a one-set lead by claiming the next five.
Ferrer's opening service game of the second set - a win to 15 - was about as assured as he looked throughout, but he was beaten to love when his turn next came around.
Despite his instant response, Murray ruthlessly regained the advantage by moving 4-2 in front and saw out the win in 90 minutes.
The victory represents Murray's seventh consecutive win against Ferrer, and puts him into his ninth final of 2016.