Murray was far from his best for the first hour-plus against Verdasco, whose powerful serves and go-for-the-lines big cuts made things difficult.
“It was a tough situation,” Murray said afterward.
One he might not have been able to get through in the past, he acknowledged.
However, Murray has matured as a tennis player. Twelve months ago, he wept after losing to Roger Federer in the Wimbledon final, dropping to 0-4 in Grand Slam title matches.
Four weeks later, also at the All England Club, Murray defeated Federer for an Olympic gold medal. Then Murray finally earned a major championship, beating Djokovic in five sets at the US Open.
Murray then reached a third consecutive Grand Slam final at the Australian Open in January, but lost to Djokovic there.
All of that recent success helped Murray against Verdasco.
In the second round of the girls’ doubles yesterday, Anett Kontaveit of Estonia and Jelena Ostapenko of Latvia knocked out Taiwan’s Hsu Ching-wen and Kamonwan Buayam of Thailand 6-2, 6-3.
Additional reporting by staff writer