Roger Federer is on the cusp of an historic eighth Wimbledon title and nineteenth Grand Slam after he outlasted Tomas Berdych in a tense encounter to reach the final at the All England Club.
There is now only one player standing in the way of Federer’s milestone. That man is Marin Cilic, who is through to his maiden Wimbledon final after he defeated fellow big-server Sam Querrey 6-7 (6), 6-4, 7-6 (3), 7-5.
Federer fired down 13 aces and struck 53 winners to defeat Berdych 7-6 (7-4) 7-6 (7-4) 6-4 in two hours and eighteen minutes.
It’s the third time Federer has reached the Wimbledon final without dropping a set en route.
“I feel very privileged to be in another final,” he said.
“I know how much it means to other players to go out and play on centre court at Wimbledon at any given time.
“I’m so grateful to have been given the opportunity this year in every match to do that. You always worry that you might not get to play another match out there, but fortunately this year I will.
“I can’t almost believe it’s true after what’s already happened this year (winning the Australian Open).”
Federer boasts the 6-1 win-loss advantage against Cilic, but Cilic’s sole victory did come at Grand Slam level. He stunned Federer in straight sets in the 2014 US Open semi-final, before going on to win his maiden major title.
More recently they also met in the Wimbledon quarterfinals last year and at two sets to love up, it seemed Cilic was on the verge of upsetting Federer yet again at another Grand Slam. But a relentless Federer was forced to dig deep and he ultimately clinched the match in five sets.
“We played here last year and I had to come back from two sets to love and match point down,” Federer said.
“It was a brutal match. He crushed me at the US Open in 2014, he played lights out — hopefully he doesn’t do that again.”
History is on Federer’s side. Not only has he never lost a Wimbledon final to a player outside of the top two, but furthermore, he has won an incredible 90 matches, out of a possible 102 at Wimbledon, making him the most successful player at the Championships.
But Cilic is looking to make some history of his own, by becoming the first seventh seed to capture the Wimbledon trophy.
“It’s definitely great for me to be in the final of a Grand Slam again,” Cilic said.
“I felt that my level of tennis in the past several weeks is really on a high level, and that has given me a lot of consistency with my mindset.
“Obviously, it’s going to be a big match for me. But it’s great thing that I have already played one Grand Slam final, and I believe it’s going to be easier to prepare.”
Federer is certainly not underestimating his opponent: “I’m in for a tough one. We had a great one here last year. At the US Open he played unreal there against me,” Federer said.
Meanwhile, the women’s champion will be decided tonight when Venus Williams and Garbine Muguruza battle it out in the final showdown.
Two years ago Muguruza reached her first Grand Slam final at Wimbledon, but she ultimately fell to Serena Williams.
However, she is hoping she may have more luck the second time around as she takes on older Williams sister Venus.
“You know what are you going to feel. You know what you more or less deal with out there,” Muguruza said, previewing the clash.
“I feel much more calm, kind of controlling more my emotions than the last time. It was more new for me also.
“Yeah, it’s a big change.”
However Venus is no stranger to Grand Slam finals herself, as this will mark her 16th major final overall and her ninth at Wimbledon.
Furthermore, Venus is a five-time champion at the All England Club making it her most successful Slam. But it has been eight years since she last appeared in the final two and nine years since she last lifted the trophy.
“I’ve played a lot of finals here, it’s been a blessing,” Venus said. “I can’t ask for more, but I want a little more.”
She added: We (Muguruza and I) both play really well on grass, and the last time she played Serena (Wimbledon 2015) so I’ll have to ask Serena for some pointers.”
Williams boasts the 3-1 head-to-head advantage against Muguruza but it was the lower ranked Muguruza who won their most recent meeting in Rome earlier this year. This will also only be their first clash on the grass surface.
There are no more Aussies left completing in main draw singles, doubles or mixed doubles action. However, Blake Ellis,18, remains in the tournament in the boys doubles draw.
Blake and his French partner, Matteo Martineau, are through to the semi-finals and they will take on the second seeds today.
Blake Ellis and Matteo Martineau v Axel Geller and Yu Hsiou Hsu (2) – 12:30AM AEST
Day 12 schedule
CENTRE COURT – 2:00PM
- Garbine Muguruza (ESP)  v Venus Williams (USA) 
- Lukasz Kubot (POL)  / Marcelo Melo (BRA)  v Oliver Marach (AUT)  / Mate Pavic (CRO) 
- Hao-Ching Chan (TPE)  / Monica Niculescu (ROU)  v Ekaterina Makarova (RUS)  / Elena Vesnina (RUS) 
COURT 18 – 11:30AM
- Corentin Moutet (FRA)  v Axel Geller (ARG)
- Mario Ancic (CRO)  / Jamie Delgado (GBR)  v Fernando Gonzalez (CHI) / Sebastien Grosjean (FRA)
- Blake Ellis (AUS) / Matteo Martineau (FRA) v Axel Geller (ARG)  / Yu Hsiou Hsu (TPE)