Andy Murray survived a five-set Centre Court thriller to reach the semi-finals of Wimbledon for the seventh time.
The world number two had cruised into the last eight but was taken the distance by Jo-Wilfried Tsonga before coming through 7-6 (12/10) 6-1 3-6 4-6 6-1 after three hours and 53 minutes of scintillating action.
Murray has made a habit of fighting back from two sets down but this time it was Tsonga who threatened to do the improbable and end the Dunblane star’s 2016 dream.
But 2013 Wimbledon champion Murray has only ever lost once having won the first two sets and, after telling his box he was not going to lose the thriller, he delivered superbly to set up a last-four clash with Tomas Berdych.
After the first set tie-break, Murray delivered a crushing second set performance – before Tsonga fought back to take the next two.
Murray was forced to save a break point in the first game of the deciding set and was then seen to mouth to his box: “No way I’m going to lose this match.”
He took the first step towards keeping that promise by breaking the Tsonga serve in the second game, letting out a huge roar, which was matched by the crowd.
Of six previous five-set matches at Wimbledon, Tsonga had won all of them, but he was on the ropes when Murray broke again to lead 4-0.
The Scot had the insurance he needed and the world number two served out the victory with an ace, raising his arms aloft in triumph.
Murray said: “Obviously it was a tough match. The end of the fourth set was really tough.
“I tried to use all my energy at the beginning of the fifth set to get myself up and get the crowd pumped up.
“Thankfully I got the early break and I hung on to it.”
Asked about letting his lead be whittled away, Murray said on BBC One: “Tsonga’s a pretty good player, he’s not bad, he’s one of the best grass-court players in the world. He came up with some great shots.
“He started returning better and mixed it up well. Credit to him for fighting his way back into the match.
“He fought really hard until the end.”
Murray was thrilled with the way he handled the decider, and added: “I’m happy I’m through to the semis, it’s time to go and rest and get ready for the next one.”