But then Verdasco blinked.
From being in control of the contest, Verdasco squandered the initiative and allowed Murray to waltz to the third set 6-1.
Suddenly the impetus was with the home favorite and backed by the majority of the 10,000 crowd and countless others on 'Murray Mound', he roared back into the contest.
Whereas an hour earlier it was Murray looking at the sky, this time it was Verdasco who was left with more questions than answers.
Now it was Murray's turn to dominate, showing that extra level of fitness and rapid cross-court speed as he leveled the match by taking the fourth set 6-4.
Having won 14 of his 20 contests which have gone to five sets, Murray would have been confident of pulling off the great escape.
Verdasco proved a stubborn opponent, holding serve with relative ease to take the match to 5-5 in the decider.
But in the 11th game, Murray finally made the breakthrough, taking a 6-5 lead before serving for the match which he did with aplomb.
Murray will play Poland's Jerzy Janowicz in the last four after the 24th seed saw off fellow Pole Lukasz Kubot.
Janowicz hit 30 aces and 58 winners on the way to becoming his country's first ever male grand slam semifinalist.
"Really I have not many words to say right now," he told the BBC.
"I'm just really happy and it doesn't matter if I'm the first or second from Poland."
Earlier, six-time grand slam winner Djokovic swatted aside Tomas Berdych 7-6 6-4 6-3 to make it through to the semifinal stage.
The Serb star, who defeated Nadal in the 2011 final, will play Argentina' s Juan Martin del Potro in the last four.
Djokovic, who has now reached 13 consecutive Grand slam semifinals, avenged his 2010 defeat by Berdych -- a contest which propelled the Czech into the final on that occasion.
The 26-year-old was 3-0 down in the second set but wrestled back control of the match before seeing off his disheartened opponent.
"It was a close match -- it could have gone either way," Djokovic told reporters.
"He was a double-break up in the second set. I don't know how I got out of that, but I was serving and returning well.
"I have a commitment to go far in this tournament. I am playing some of my best tennis on grass even though it's not my preferred surface,"
World No.6 Berdych revealed his disappointment after his performance tailed off following a promising opening set and a half.
He said: "I can play better than I played today. If you give him too much then it's a lot."
Meanwhile, del Potro overcame an injury to his left knee to ease past World No.4 David Ferrer 6-2 6-4 7-6.
The Argentine hit 42 winners and 12 aces after slipping on the Centre Court surface early on during the last eight clash.