LONDON - Roger Federer is back in familiar territory, closing in on another Wimbledon title. He'll face a familiar opponent -- Andy Murray -- for a place in the final.
Despite losing serve for the first time all tournament, 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.
Most popular sports stories
Federer, chasing a record eighth Wimbledon title and his 18th Grand Slam championship, will face 2013 champion Murray in Friday's semifinals. Murray beat Canada's Vasek Pospisil 6-4, 7-5, 6-4 to reach his sixth Wimbledon semifinal.
"The road is long getting here," Federer said. "But still I feel like I'm fresh and I've got energy left in the tank for hopefully a great match with Andy and then we'll see."
Looming on the other half of the draw is defending champion Novak Djokovic, who swept Marin Cilic 6-4, 6-4, 6-4 to reach the Wimbledon semifinals for the sixth straight year. Going for his third title, the top-ranked Serb was in total control as he extended his career mastery over Cilic, the reigning U.S. Open champion, to 13-0.
"Very solid performance," said Djokovic, who never faced a break point and will next play either Stan Wawrinka or Richard Gasquet.
Federer has never lost in the Wimbledon semifinals, holding a career 9-0 record. He has 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."
Murray overpowered Federer in straight sets in the Olympic match, but since then, Federer has won four of their last six meetings, including the last three.
"I know Roger very well," Murray said. "We've played each other many times. We saw each other this morning; walked to the practice courts together and stuff. We get on well. But obviously on Friday, different story."
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."
Murray never lost serve, saving the one break point he faced, and broke Pospisil three times and had only 13 unforced errors. He extended his record to 4-0 against the Canadian, all in straight sets.
Pospisil twice was warned by the chair umpire for taking too much time between his service points. The second cost him a first serve in the ninth game of the third set, and Murray broke.
"I think a lot of times these umpires, they seem to just want to be seen," said the Canadian, who also hit a desperation between-the-legs shot that was returned for a winner by Murray.
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.