Photo: Paul ZimmerAndy Murray (GBR)
On paper it should have been a one-sided affair. Andy Murray, ranked No. 2 in the world and looking in great form, had to play No. 54 Fernando Verdasco, a former Top 10 player who was making his first appearance in the last eight at the All England Lawn Tennis Club.
But Verdasco made life extremely uncomfortable for Murray from the outset with solid play from the baseline combined with superb serving, especially his second serve.
And when Murray dropped the first set most inside Centre Court must have thought it was just an aberration; a blip. Not Verdasco. The Spaniard pulled away into a two-set lead and was looking much the better player with the all important momentum firmly in his favour.
However, they say the mark of a good player is being able to win matches when you're not at your best and somehow that is exactly what the British No. 1 managed to do as be battled his way back into the match and forced a deciding fifth set.
With nerves fraying among the home fans, Murray kept his cool and broke Verdasco in the 11th game of the fifth set before serving out the match with a hold to love to win 46 36 61 64 75.
The relief was clear for all to see but Murray took heart from the experience: "When you play more and more matches and gain more experience you understand how to turn matches around and how to change the momentum of games.
"Maybe when I was younger I could have lost that match but I think I've learned how to come back from tough situations more as I get older."
His opponent in tomorrow's semifinal will be Jerzy Janowicz, who broke new ground by defeating compatriot Lukasz Kubot 75 64 64 on Wednesday. Janowicz is the first Polish man in history to reach the last four at a major and his big serve will no doubt cause problems for Murray.
Janowicz, who has already secured a pay packet of £400,000 at Wimbledon (more than a third of his career prize money), is projected to move into the Top 20 as a result of his performance at Wimbledon so sar and if he wins could be knocking on the door of the Top 10.
The other men's semifinal will be contested by No. 1 Novak Djokovic and No. 8 seed Juan Martin del Potro in a rematch of the London 2012 bronze medal match, which del Potro won.
The tall Argentine took a terrible tumble in the opening game of his quarterfinal with David Ferrer and looked to narrowly avoid a serious knee injury. But he battled on and overcame Ferrer 62 64 76 to book his place in his first Wimbledon semifinal.
Djokovic avenged defeat by Tomas Berdych in the 2010 semifinals on Wednesday with another clinical performance at this year's Wimbledon, winning 76 64 63 against the powerful Czech.
The International Tennis Federation provides men's information to the media at Grand Slam events. For a full list of this year's notes click here.