Roger Federer of Switzerland celebrates his victory over Kei Nishikori of Japan at Wimbledon in London, the UK, July 10 2019. Picture: TPN/GETTY IMAGES
Roger Federer of Switzerland celebrates his victory over Kei Nishikori of Japan at Wimbledon in London, the UK, July 10 2019. Picture: TPN/GETTY IMAGES

London — Roger Federer chalked up another monumental milestone to reach the Wimbledon semi-finals on Wednesday, recovering to beat Japan’s Kei Nishikori 4-6 6-1 6-4 6-4 and become the first man to record a century of singles wins at any Grand Slam.

No 2 seed Federer was so poor in the first set that the eighth-seeded Nishikori may have felt the 37-year-old Swiss’s advancing years had finally caught up with him.

Yet the remainder of the contest had just enough flourishes of pure brilliance from the eight times champion to make it a worthy occasion for him to become the sole male member of the Grand Slam 100 club.

Federer’s victory raised the prospect that Wimbledon may once again play host to one of the sport’s greatest rivalries, provided Rafa Nadal overcomes big-serving American Sam Querrey to tee up a clash against his old Swiss foe in the semis.

The duo have not met at the All England Club since their titanic tussle in the 2008 final, when Nadal outlasted Federer over five thrilling sets that finished in the late evening gloom.

Top-seed Novak Djokovic recovered from an edgy start to deliver a devastating display that crushed the spirit of 21st-seeded Belgian David Goffin in straight sets on Wednesday and sent the defending champion surging into the semifinals. Goffin will wonder just what happened after he looked the better player in the early stages and broke for a 4-3 lead in the first set.

Half an hour later he had lost 10 games in a row and the
match was effectively over as Djokovic went on to triumph
6-4 6-0 6-2.

The 32-year-old Serb was at his clinical best as he soaked up the early punches without panic then imposed himself in every aspect of the contest to such an extent that Goffin, 28, was left flailing on Centre Court.

Djokovic, who has lost only once at a Grand Slam in the past 12 months, is into his ninth Wimbledon semifinal — only Jimmy Connors and Federer have been in more — where he will face Spanish world No 22 Roberto Bautista Agut.

Djokovic has reached the semis having dropped one set and been broken only five times in five matches and was delighted with how Wednesday’s match eventually unfolded.

"He started well and was dictating the play from the baseline," he said. "Things could have gone a different way. Who knows what the match would have looked like if I had lost the first set?

"I think it was the turning point, it was a huge relief for me mentally. I started relaxing, going through the ball a bit more and I felt like I managed to dismantle his game and find the right shots." Reuters