Andy Murray put the home fans through the wringer as he came back from two sets down to book a place in the Wimbledon semi-finals with an edgy 4-6 3-6 6-1 6-4 7-5 win over the unseeded Spaniard Fernando Verdasco.
Murray’s hopes of ending Britain’s 77-year wait for a men’s Wimbledon champion were on the verge of being shredded as he found himself playing catch-up while looking jaded and uncomfortable on court.
The 54th-ranked Verdasco put pressure on Murray’s vulnerable second serve and came up with a series of rasping winners to force the US Open champion deeper behind the baseline.
Yet with the match slipping out of his grasp, Murray muscled his way back into the encounter, taking the third and fourth sets as Verdasco’s level dropped and then grabbed a decisive break in the 11th game of the fifth.
He wrapped up the match after three hours and 27 minutes when Verdasco sent a forehand long.
Murray, who has now reached five successive Wimbledon semi-finals, will face Jerzy Janowicz in the last four.