Former world number one Roger Federer battled back from two sets down to beat Marin Cilic in the quarterfinals. The win keeps alive Federer's quest to add an 18th Grand Slam victory to his already record haul.
If Federer does succeed in winning his first major title in four years, he'll look back on this close shave as being a turning point.
Novak Djokovic's shock loss in the round of 16 gave the other top men, and no one more so than the 34-year-old Swiss, an opening at tennis' most prestigious event. But Federer knew he had a battle on his hands against Marin Cilic, who had beaten him on his way to winning the US Open in 2014.
And a battle it certainly was, with the Croatian racing out to a lead in a first-set tie-breaker which he won 7-4. He then broke Federer's serve in the third game of the second set and held on to go ahead two sets to love.
"I wasn't seeing his serves, he had one chance and took it and then I was down 2-0," said Federer afterward. "He was playing very well and reading my serve and I couldn't read his."
The Swiss, who has won seven Wimbledon titles over the his long career and lost in the finals two years on the trot to Djokovic, battled back to take the third set 6-3. The fourth set went to a tie-breaker, in which Federer staved off three match points thanks to some huge serves. He ended up winning 11-9 to send the match to a fifth and final set.
"I just tried to stay in the match and hoped for his level to drop and get a bit lucky," Federer said. "That happened and obviously the breaker was crazy."
Cilic, shaken at coming so close to a spectacular upset, faltered, and after three hours and 19 minutes, Federer claimed victory. The final score was: 6-7, 4-6, 6-3, 7-6, 6-3.
The win was Federer's 307th at Grand Slam events, breaking the all-time record held by Martina Navratilova.
In the semifinals on Friday, Federer will play Milos Raonic. The sixth-seeded Canadian beat American Sam Querrey, the man who knocked out Djokovic, 6-4, 7-5, 5-7, 6-4.
Tomas Berdych also advanced to the semis beating Lucas Pouille in straight sets 7-6, 6-3, 6-2. He'll meet Andy Murray. The Scot also squandered a two-set lead but eventually got the job done against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 7-6, 6-1, 3-6, 4-6, 6-1.