Roger Federer said bringing up a century of Wimbledon victories was “special” as he booked a tantalising semi-final with Rafael Nadal.
The 37-year-old shook off a nervy start to beat Kei Nishikori 4-6, 6-1, 6-4, 6-4 in the quarter-final on Centre Court.
He is the first man to reach 100 wins at the All England Club and is in his 13th semi-final.
Federer is chasing a ninth Wimbledon title, but if he is going to do that he will more than likely have to beat Nadal and then Novak Djokovic.
The last-four meeting with Nadal will be the 40th instalment of one of tennis’ great rivalries and their first here since the epic 2008 final.
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Federer won his first match at SW19 as a 19-year-old in 2001, beating Belgian Christophe Rochus, and never expected to bring his ton up.
“It’s special,” he admitted. “It’s been a lot of years I’ve been coming here, you know. That’s given me the opportunity to win a lot naturally.
“It’s nice, because if I look back at the 100 that have happened, some were so incredibly cool.
“Today again was a big match going into the semis, facing Rafa. A hundred wins here at Wimbledon. Who would have thought? I didn’t, for sure.”
A lot has changed since Federer and Nadal produced one of the most memorable finals of Wimbledon’s history and the Swiss is looking forward to renewing the rivalry.
“He has improved so much over the years on this surface,” Federer said. “He’s playing also very different than he used to.
“We haven’t played each other in a long, long time on this surface. He’s serving way different.
“I remember back in the day how he used to serve, and now how much bigger he’s serving, how much faster he finishes points.
“It’s impressive to see how sort of healthy he’s stayed. A lot of them are saying, ‘Oh, it’s the end’, by 2008. Similar to me in 2009. We’re still here. So it’s nice to play each other again.”
A possible upset had looked on the cards after Nishikori came out firing and took the first set, but while being one of the most consistent players in the men’s game, he is still having problems cracking the top three at the biggest events.
This was the fifth successive Grand Slam that he has lost to either Federer, Nadal or Djokovic, and he was unable to cope with the former after going in front.News Now - Sport News