Rafael Nadal ended home interest in the Paris Masters with a 6-4 6-1 quarter-final win against the last Frenchman standing, Richard Gasquet.
Top seed Nadal, appearing at the indoor event for the first time since 2009, was made to work hard during a tight opening set.
The boyhood rivals - born a fortnight apart in June 1986 - exchanged early breaks before Nadal made his move by breaking again to love in the seventh game.
The Spaniard went on to close out the first set in 34 minutes and dominated thereafter, breaking three more times to improve his career record against Gasquet to 12-0.
World No.1 Nadal will play his countryman David Ferrer in the last four after the defending champion came from a set down to defeat Tomas Berdych 4-6 7-5 6-3 in the last match of the day.
Sixth seed Berdych served up a treat to take the opening set 6-4 courtesy of a solitary break but Ferrer responded immediately to move 3-0 up at the start of the second.
Berdych rallied to level at 4-4, only to then surrender his delivery when 6-5 down and serving to stay in the set.
World No.3 Ferrer broke again for a 3-1 advantage in the decider and went on to close out victory in two hours and four minutes.
Nadal leads the head-to-head with Ferrer 20-4 and won their most recent encounter, this year's French Open final, in straight sets.