Roger Federer’s pursuit for an eighth Wimbledon crown strengthened overnight with reigning champion Andy Murray crashing out of the Championships and Novak Djokovic forced to retire injured.
Murray’s title defence ended dramatically in a five set defeat to Sam Querrey 6-3, 4-6, 7-6 (4), 1-6, 1-6, as the world number one succumbed to a hip injury, which had plagued him all tournament.
Murray boasted the two sets to one advantage but his movement was severely hindered in the final two sets, as the big serving American was able to notch up just his second victory in nine matches against the home favourite.
“For the whole tournament it has been a little bit sore, I tried my best to the very end, I gave my best, it is obviously disappointing to lose at Wimbledon, there was opportunity, I am sad that it is over,” Murray said.
Novak Djokovic’s tilt at a fourth Wimbledon title was also cut abruptly short as the world number two retired with an elbow injury during his quarter-final clash with Tomas Berdych.
Djokovic was trailing 6-7 (2), 0-2 when he decided to end his tournament. The former world number one also withdrew his bid to regain the top ranking, as he needed to win the championship to overtake Murray at the peak.
“It’s the elbow. Over a year and a half it’s been bothering me,” Djokovic said after the match. He had also received treatment on his right shoulder near the end of his fourth round victory against Adrian Mannarino yesterday.
“I probably spent about two and a half hours on the table today… there’s no way out if you don’t feel fit. I’m going to talk to the specialist to find a long-term solution to solve it.”
But on a day of upsets, Swiss maestro Roger Federer survived and his quest for a nineteenth Grand Slam has only strengthened with the absence of Djokovic and Murray.
Federer can now avoid the imminent semi-final showdown against Djokovic. Instead he will face Tomas Berdych, a player he boasts the 18-6 head-to-head advantage against.
Federer was able to successfully avenge his 2016 semi-final loss to Raonic, downing the sixth seed in straight sets 6-4, 6-2, 7-6 (4) in just under two hours.
The seven-time champion is no stranger to his own injury woes, but after he decided to miss the clay court swing, Federer insists he is refreshed and ready to go all the way at the All England Club.
“Last year I had a hard, hard time practicing through the clay court season. The grass court season was difficult because of the back issues I had, and the knee issues. I was really lacking practice really,” Federer said.
“Then the matches, I could never really play quite so freely last year just because, you know, I’m more focused on how the knee’s behaving rather than how I need to hit my forehand or backhand, or what’s not going to be good for my opponent.
“This year I’m just a normal tennis player again where I can focus on tactics. I think that’s the difference.
“I’m playing very well. I’m rested. I’m fresh. I’m confident, too. Then great things do happen. Confidence is a huge thing.”
Marin Cilic rounds out this year’s semi-finalists after he fended off Rafael Nadal’s conqueror, Gilles Muller, in five sets 3-6, 7-6 (6), 7-5, 5-7, 6-1.
No women featured in singles action on Wednesday, as the final four prepare for their semi-final battles tonight.
Henri Kontinen and John Peers (1) defeated Ryan Harrison and Michael Venus (10): 6-4, 6-7 (5), 6-7 (4), 7-6 (7), 6-1
Ashleigh Barty and Casey Dellacqua (8) lost to Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina (2): 4-6, 6-4, 4-6
Day 9 upsets – Top seeds who bundled out
Andy Murray (1) lost to Sam Querrey (24): 3-6, 6-4, 6-7 (4), 6-1, 6-1
Novak Djokovic (2) lost to Tomas Berdych (11): 7-6 (2), 2-0 RET.
Day 10 schedule
CENTRE COURT – 1:00PM
- Garbine Muguruza (ESP)  v Magdalena Rybarikova (SVK)
- Venus Williams (USA)  v Johanna Konta (GBR) 
- Jamie Murray (GBR)  / Martina Hingis (SUI)  v TBD
NO.1 COURT – 1:00PM
- Henri Kontinen (FIN)  / John Peers (AUS)  v Lukasz Kubot (POL)  / Marcelo Melo (BRA) 
- Andre Begemann (GER) / Nicole Melichar (USA) v TBD
- Cara Black (ZIM) / Martina Navratilova (USA) v Andrea Jaeger (USA) / Conchita Martinez (ESP)
NO.2 COURT – 11:30AM
- Lleyton Hewitt (AUS) / Mark Philippoussis (AUS) v Jamie Baker (GBR)  / Colin Fleming (GBR)