Roger Federer admitted that he “couldn’t be happier” after he fought back from two sets down to defeat Marin Cilic 6-7 (7), 4-6, 6-3, 7-6 (11), 6-3 at Wimbledon on Wednesday.
Cilic got the better of Federer in their last meeting, in the semi-finals of the 2014 US Open, but this time it was the Swiss maestro who prevailed in extraordinary fashion. Federer’s win over Cilic marked the 10th time in his career that he has fought back to win a match from being two sets down.
“For me the dream continues. I couldn’t be happier, because I fought well and I played super-great in the end,” Federer told reporters. “It’s great winning matches like these, coming back from two-sets-to-love. It’s rare. When it happens, you really enjoy them.
“Definitely felt like I got lucky to some extent today. Always when you’re saving match points, I don’t know, when you’re down two sets to love, 3 All, Love 40, it’s a moment when it’s not in your control anymore.
“But I fought, I tried, I believed. At the end I got it done. So it was great on so many levels.”
Having battled past the ninth seed, Federer will face sixth seed Milos Raonic in the semi-finals after the Canadian triumphed over Sam Querrey 6-4, 7-5, 5-7, 6-4.
The 34-year-old also became the oldest player to reach the semi-finals of the grand slam since Australia’s Ken Rosewall, who was 39 when he finished as the runner-up in 1974.
With world number one Novak Djokovic making a shock early exit, this appears to be Federer’s best chance to end his four-year grand slam drought.
“Still gives me the chance to win the tournament,” he said. “I prefer to be here than booking a jet. I’ll tell you that.
“For me, I’m very pleased. First week was great. Played a good match against Steve Johnson. Today was epic. Probably going to look back at this as being a great, great match that I played in my career, on centre court here at Wimbledon. I don’t remember coming back from two sets to love here. This is huge for me, my season, my career. I’m very, very happy.”