(CNN) -- Andy Murray will play world number one Novak Djokovic for the Cincinnati Masters title after the pair had contrasting victories in their semifinals Saturday.
Murray beat home hope Mardy Fish in straights sets, 6-3 7-6 (10-8) but it was a grueling encounter in the blazing Ohio heat, while Djokovic had a far easier passage as Tomas Berdych retired with a right shoulder injury while trailing by a set.
It took the Serbian to a remarkable 57-1 winning record in 2011, including victory over Murray in the final of the Australian Open at the start of the year.
Murray, still searching his first grand slam title, told Sky Sports after his win over Fish that facing Djokovic in the final would be "ideal preparation" for the U.S. Open which starts at Flushing Meadows on Monday week.
The Scot cruised through the first set, but found the second much harder against an opponent full of confidence after beating Rafael Nadal in the quarterfinals.
Neither man could hold their service, with six breaks in all in the set, but when it came to the tiebreak it was Murray who edged ahead.
He forced three match points, against a single set point for Fish, and eventually prevailed after two hours and 18 minutes.
"I was struggling physically in the second set, it was hot but that's not an excuse,' Murray said.
"My legs were feeling tired. It was the conditions. I need to get stronger. This is the first tough match I've played for five or six weeks. I need to get some more endurance in me before the US Open."
In Sunday's final, Murray will be seeking just his second title of the season, while Djokovic will be bidding for his 10th.
His semifinal opponent Berdych had put out defending champion Roger Federer in the last eight, but after losing the first set 7-5 called it a day.