LONDON – Roger Federer avoided joining Wimbledon’s Centre Court casualty list as the Swiss star hit back to reach the semifinals for the ninth time with a 3-6, 7-6 (7/5), 6-4, 6-4 victory over compatriot Stan Wawrinka.
Federer dropped a set for the first time in this year’s tournament, but eventually emerged unscathed on Wimbledon’s showpiece arena just hours after defending champion Andy Murray had walked off stunned by his quarter-final defeat against Grigor Dimitrov.
Murray’s loss was the latest in a long line of shocks on Centre Court over the last nine days, with world number one Rafael Nadal and former Wimbledon champion Maria Sharapova also among those bowing out.
But fourth seed Federer ensured his name wasn’t added to the list with a come from behind victory in the last eight to secure his 35th Grand Slam semifinal appearance.
It was also the 17-time Grand Slam champion’s 72nd match victory at the All England Club, which moved him into second place on the all-time list ahead of Boris Becker and behind only Jimmy Connors.
The 32-year-old, bidding to become the first man to win eight Wimbledon singles titles, will face Australian wild card Nick Kyrgios or Canadian eighth seed Milos Raonic on Friday for a place in Sunday’s final.