A ruthless Andy Murray ended Kei Nishikori's brilliant run at the Australian Open on Wednesday, carving up the Japanese sensation with a dominant 6-3 6-3 6-1 victory to stroll into his third successive semi-final at Melbourne Park.

Nishikori, the first Japanese man through to the last eight in Melbourne for 80 years, won support from kimono-clad fans as the underdog at sun-bathed Rod Laver Arena, but left with his tail between his legs after a two-hour 12-minute spanking.

While rarely setting the court alight, Murray assumed control from the outset, exploiting the flashy Japanese's height with lobs and running him around the court to distraction.

The fourth-seeded Briton stepped up a gear in the third, closing out the contest on his second match point when Nishikori belted a forehand return into the net.

Murray sets up a last-four showdown with either world number one Novak Djokovic or fifth seed David Ferrer as he bids for a maiden grand slam title.

(Reporting by Ian Ransom; Editing by Patrick Johnston)