Andy Murray displayed his increasing maturity to overcome David Ferrer in four sets to reach the Wimbledon semi-finals 6-7, 7-6, 6-4, 7-6.
The Scot recovered from a difficult start to beat the Spaniard who had come out on top at the same stage of the French Open last month.
Ferrer came into the match full of confidence having been in excellent form in 2012, winning 43 of his 51 matches so far, including four titles.
The 30-year-old had beaten Juan Martin del Potro in the previous round and went about showing why he is ranked fifth in the world, just one place behind Murray.
He took the early initiative, finding the lines with his forehand and stretching Murray across the court. The form led to an early break of Murray's serve.
The fourth seed battled back though and took the set to the wire. After Murray held an early advantage in the tie break Ferrer roared back and took the first set 7-5 in the tie break.
In second set Ferrer was again first to break serve leaving himself serving for the set he wobbled, a series of errors allowing Murray to level at 5-5.
A second tie-break soon followed and again it was Ferrer who took control, winning the first three points and then opening up a 5-2 lead. Murray fought back to draw level, though, and a big serve gave the fourth seed a set point and an 8-6 win to level the contest.
And after another tense set in the third with several brutal baseline struggles. However in the ninth game it was the man from Dunblane who took the lead with a powerful backhand forcing Ferrer wide.
While he is sometimes guilty of failing to consolidate a break, Murray made no mistake this time around to take the set 6-4.
Tiredness didn’t appear to be an issue for either player as the quality of tennis on show continued to be high.
Murray produced a wonderful passing shot to go 0-15 ahead in the third game. However the Spaniard responded in typical fashion to keep a foothold in the match.
Hanging on a knife edge the games continued to go on serve before once again we were at 4-4.
Ferrer appeared in trouble but dug a stunning forehand that left Murray beaten. He held his nerve to put the pressure back on the Scot.
However Murray had grown into the match by now and he raced through the points to make it 5-5 before the wonderful British weather intervened.
When play resumed, Murray's victory was all but inevitable and the world number four sealed the deal with a 7-6 victory in the fourth and final set, taking the game and ensuring he progressed to the next round.