The Brit finally secured victory over his German counterpart on Sunday in a contest that was carried over from the previous day after it had been suspended for bad light with the scores level at 7-7 in the fifth set.
Two-time grand slam champion Murray emerged victorious 3-6 6-3 6-3 4-6 12-10 after four hours and seven minutes on Court Suzanne Lenglen.
Murray now takes on Spaniard Verdasco, who beat Richard Gasquet 6-3 6-2 6-3, and conceded he has improvements to make after failing to capitalise on break points in the fourth set and in the early stages of an epic decider.
“Today is a very good win for me to beat a player like him on this surface (clay). Hopefully I can keep improving, keep learning,” Murray said.
“There are certain things I can learn from today’s match that if I do take on board the things that I didn’t do so well at times and hopefully I can make some adjustments for the next match and play better.”
The match marked the first time that Murray had played a full five-set match since undergoing surgery to remedy a long-standing back problem in September.
The 27-year-old received medical attention during several changeovers on Saturday and revealed that the exertions of going the distance had been a challenge for him physically.
However, Murray insisted that he did not go into the encounter with an injury.
“I was cramping. That was what it was. It wasn’t something I went into the match with,” Murray added.
“It was the first five-set match I played since my surgery (last year). Obviously playing late, heavy conditions, is tough on the legs in the evening.”
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