London: Despite losing serve for the first time all tournament, Roger Federer is back in familiar territory — closing in on another Wimbledon title.
Federer overwhelmed Gilles Simon 6-3, 7-5, 6-2 on Wednesday to advance to the semifinals at the All England Club for the 10th time, and to the final four of a Grand Slam tournament for the 37th time.
Federer, chasing a record eighth Wimbledon title and his 18th Grand Slam championship, will face 2013 champion Andy Murray in Friday's semifinals. Murray beat Canada's Vasek Pospisil 6-4, 7-5, 6-4 to reach his sixth Wimbledon semifinal.
Federer has never lost in the Wimbledon semifinals, holding a career 9-0 record. He holds a 12-11 career edge over Murray, but the Briton beat him on Centre Court in the final of the 2012 Olympic tournament — a few weeks after Federer defeated Murray in the Wimbledon final for his seventh title.
"We both like to look back at that summer — me, not so much at the Olympics; him, probably not so much at Wimbledon," Federer said. "He played unbelievable in the finals of the Olympics. I'm not going to try to look back at that too much, because he really dominated me in that one."
Federer put on another vintage grass-court display Wednesday to take Simon apart in just over 90 minutes on Court 1 in a match that was interrupted twice by rain delays.
"The stop-and-gos are tough," Federer said. "You never know how you're going to come back from them, but I think I used them to my advantage. Either I stayed ahead or I was able to make the difference. The breaks actually rather helped me than hindered me."
The second-seeded Swiss served 11 aces, broke five times, had 36 winners and thoroughly dominated a player he has now beaten six straight times.
The only surprise came when Simon broke Federer — at love no less — to draw even at 5-5 in the second set. It was the first time Federer had been broken after 67 service games at Wimbledon, a streak that stretched to 116 games when including his title run at the grass-court tournament in Halle, Germany.
Not to be rattled, Federer broke Simon in the very next game. After rain suspended play at 6-5, 15-0, Federer finished the set with a service winner, ace, ace. Federer broke twice in the final set.
"Reaction was always going to be important for me once the streak ended and the serve was broken," he said. "I think I was able to do that. Gilles is obviously a quality return player and the game I got broken, he was too good, so no problem to accept that."
In the other quarterfinal matches, defending champion Novak Djokovic was scheduled to play U.S. Open champion Marin Cilic, and French Open winner Stan Wawrinka was up against Richard Gasquet.
The women's semifinals are set for Thursday, with five-time champion Serena Williams playing 2004 winner Maria Sharpova, and Agnieszka Radwanska facing Garbine Muguruza.