Nishikori had made the first set difficult for the British number one, but Murray always seemed to be in control. He dictated play throughout the game despite a low first serve percentage. Facing Djokovic on Friday evening (starts 0830GMT) however will be a far sterner test for the Scotsman who reached the semi-final stages of this major for the third year in a row.
Having seen off the plucky Nishikori on the day Scottish folk celebrate Burns Night
, Murray will set his sights on world number one Novak Djokovic, who survived an energy-sapping encounter with David Ferrer
in his quarter-final.
Roger Federer comfortably eased into the semi-finals again with a 6-4, 6-3, 6-2 win over Juan Martin Del Potro. The Swiss former world number one will meet Spanish ace Rafael Nadal, who made hard work in despatching Tomas Berdych 6-7 (5-7), 7-6 (8-6), 6-4, 6-3.
In the woman's singles Maria Sharapova saw off her Russian counterpart Makarova in straight sets to set up a semi-final clash with Czech Republic newcomer Kvitova. The other semi-final is taking place on Thursday and will feature Belgian ace Kim Clijsters against third seed Azarenka.