Andy Murray needed five sets to see off Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and set up a Wimbledon semi-final showdown against Tomas Berdych.
Berdych, whose slow start suggested he was feeling the effects of close to 11-and-a-half hours on court in his four previous matches, threatened to fritter away a 5-1 lead in the first-set tiebreak before a deep approach shot set him up for a clean forehand victor.
Tsonga saved the point, but it was Murray who broke to go 4-2 up.
No. 2 Andy Murray def. No. 12 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, 7-6(10), 6-1, 3-6, 4-6, 6-1.
In the semis the homecountry favorite will face the No. 10 seed Berdych, who on Wednesday beat No. 32 seed Lucas Pouille of France 7-6(4), 6-3, 6-2. It would be a mouthwatering prospect for fans up and down the country, with support for both players expected to be large and loud. "It's my first time in my career I think that I'm losing the match when I was two sets to love up". "So I'm hoping it helps me the next couple of rounds".
Murray revealed: "It's totally different now - because I've won Wimbledon, so the pressure isn't the same".
On Friday he will face the 6ft 5in 2010 finalist Berdych and will be hoping he can reach his third Wimbledon final. But mentally, today was a tough match.
Along with partner Bruno Soares, the number three seeds lost 6-4, 6-4, 6-7, 6-7, 10-8 to Julien Benneteau and Edouard Roger-Vasselin.
Canada's Milos Raonic produced an irresistible display of classic grasscourt tennis to overcome giant-killer Sam Querrey 6-4, 7-5, 5-7, 6-4 on Wednesday and power into the Wimbledon semi-finals. "He did it twice, and then it was tough to come back in this set". "But I don't really know what else to do without it", he said.
So great was his control of the first two sets that he lost just seven points on his serve during that period and faced no break points.
It could have been one of those swinging, fretful matches that go on deep into the night but Murray called time and Tsonga buckled falling lamely in the end 6-1 in the fifth.
Murray was clearly frustrated with his performance in the third and fourth sets but gathered himself to produce a scintillating display in the final set.
"That's why tennis is great", he said.
"Obviously he's a big guy who serves well".
Djokovic announced that he was pulling out of the tie immediately after he was knocked out of Wimbledon, but Murray has already shown his commitment to the British defence of the trophy when playing a crucial role in the opening match against Japan just weeks after his daughter was born and is determined to make the trip to Serbia if at all possible. 'He has continued to improve so many areas of his game.'His second serve in particular is so much improved, as is his net play, and he has come forward with a lot of success.
Meanwhile, Roger Federer came through an epic five-set thriller with Marin Cilic to reach the last four in one of the most epic clashes of these Championships.
When the scoreboard inside Centre Court flashed the result of Sam Querrey's shocking win over Novak Djokovic on Saturday, a murmur rippled through the crowd that eventually turned into a roar.