Murray said: "Obviously it was a tough match".
Murray then recaptured his form from earlier in the match as he emulated the second set with two breaks of serve to sweep aside Tsonga and claimed a 7-6 (12-10) 6-1 3-6 4-6 6-1 victory in three hours and 53 minutes.
Was Murray about to lose from two sets up for only the second time in his career, the first occasion having been on his Wimbledon debut in 2005, when he lost to David Nalbandian? Murray then ends the second frame after a 40-30 win in the seventh game, leaving him one set away from sealing off the floundering Frenchman.
Roger Federer put his global army of "Fed-Head" fans through the wringer for four nerve-shredding sets before he kept alive his pursuit of a record eighth Wimbledon title with a 6-7, 4-6, 6-3, 7-6, 6-3 win over Marin Cilic the quarter-finals on Wednesday.
He remains hopeful that he could make his third Grand Slam Semi-final appearance since 2013 if he defeated Andy Murray.
"I know Tsonga is one of the best grass court players in the world", said Murray, who is 6-2 in Wimbledon quarterfinals.
In the other half of the bracket, No. 10 seed Tomas Berdych made it through No. 32 Lucas Pouille, taking him down in straight sets, 7-6(4), 6-3, 6-2. I was able to really dictate the game and play aggressive.
Murray has beaten Berdych in their last four meetings, but before that the Czech led their head-to-head record 6-4.
Slowly but surely Murray is scratching his name alongside the all-time grasscourt greats on Wimbledon's hallowed lawns. This particular fortnight, the mute button on his remote has always been pressed when John McEnroe is on, due to his coaching involvement with rival Milos Raonic. Having saved a break point in the opening game, he celebrated loudly after breaking serve to go 2-0 up and was soon 5-0 ahead.
But he faded in the third, found himself edged out in the fourth and needed a fifth set to get the job done, much to the relief of Ivan Lendl and his team.
Lendl won eight grand slam titles under the Czech flag, although is now an American citizen, and Berdych made no secret of his desire to tempt Lendl back onto the circuit following his split from Murray. "He's one of the greatest grass-court players in the world".
It was the first Grand Slam he had missed since 1999 and came in a year where he has yet to win a trophy.
He recovered to produce a decent run at Roland Garros, where he lost to Djokovic in the quarterfinals, and he's back in the Wimbledon semifinal for the first time in six years. Murray then survived a marathon sixth game and break points to consolidate, but Tsonga was just getting into his stride, and did level for 4-4. "I'm sure he sent a message to other players, as well, that he's ready to play".
And it proved a bridge too far for Tsonga, with the Frenchman adding: "I think he had the opportunity to break me, and he did it. But there's still a lot left to play".
"He has won some tough matches here, he's played a lot of tennis and I will need to play well". "Yes, I did surprise myself, in quite a big way actually".
However, after a stout opening, Tsonga looked to be going the way of the British wild card Liam Broady, 32-year-old Lu Yen-Hsun, Australian trier John Millman and his combustible compatriot Nick Kyrgios, who detained the Scot a total of seven hours and 17 minutes. He had been 0-4 on grass heading into Wimbledon, but he's now 4-4.