Andy Murray returned from the brink of defeat to seal a thrilling victory as he secured a place in the semi-finals and kept his Wimbledon dream alive.
The 26-year-old punched the air in delight after he clawed back from two sets down to claim the match in front of a roaring Centre Court crowd.
Glory came after the Prime Minister offered his encouragement in a message which sparked concern among supporters who feared the so-called “curse of Cameron” could scupper the Scot’s chances.
But Murray, who has insisted he is not superstitious, was not to be defeated.
His win followed a tense tie during which his girlfriend, Kim Sears, 25, put her hand to her mouth in apparent anguish when he looked to be losing his grip.
His mother, Judy, punched the air as he broke Fernando Verdasco’s serve and glory was once more in sight.
Murray looked to the sky in apparent relief as he clinched the match. The crowd rose as one as he beat the Spaniard 4-6 3-6 6-1 6-4 7-5.
A roar erupted over on the grassy knoll in the grounds dubbed “Murray Mount”, where thousands of people watched the clash.
Security guards battled to keep walkways clear as hordes of fans clutching Union flags squeezed in to follow the action on a big screen.
Murray later hailed the “unbelievable atmosphere” on the All England Club’s main show lawn where he never lost the support of fans, some of whom had spent up to four nights camping outside the grounds for Centre Court tickets.
The Scot reiterated his belief that support from the home crowd was crucial to his campaign.
“I just think it’s a great atmosphere,” he said after the match.
“I love it when it’s like that. It was extremely noisy. They were right into it pretty much every single point.”
He added: “When I went behind, the crowd definitely got right behind me and made a huge, huge difference.”
Earlier this week, the PM sent his best wishes to Britain’s number one female player Laura Robson, 19, shortly before her fourth-round exit.
Last summer he arrived at Wimbledon for the finals, where Murray was defeated by Roger Federer, and he followed this with a series of visits to Olympic events where British medal hopefuls lost out.
But Murray dismissed any suggestion that the politician could jinx his chances.
“What he tweets has absolutely zero bearing on the outcome of my match today – zero at all,” he said.
Murray will face Poland’s Jerzy Janowicz in his semi-final bout on Friday and predicted it will be a “very tough match”.
“He’s played extremely well here,” he said.
“He’s a tough player.”