Seven-time Wimbledon champion Roger Federer beat 12th seed Gilles Simon 6-3, 7-5, 6-2 on Wednesday to enter his 10th Wimbledon semi-final, setting up a 24th career encounter against 2013 champion Andy Murray, who beat Vasek Pospisil of Canada 6-4, 7-5, 6-4.
The 33-year-old Swiss, bidding to become the oldest Wimbledon champion in the Open Era, shrugged off two rain delays as well as being broken for the first time at the tournament to complete victory in just 94 minutes. He will contest his 37th Grand Slam semi-final, for a place in Sunday's title match.
Federer fired 11 aces and 36 winners as he secured a sixth win in eight meetings with Simon, who was attempting to reach the last-four of a major for the first time.
"The stop and go with the rain are always tough but I think I used them to my advantage. They helped me rather than hindered me," said Federer, adding that he was looking forward to a potential semi-final against Murray.
Federer defeated the British third seed in the 2012 Wimbledon final before Murray gained revenge just weeks later in the Olympic Games final. "We both like to look back on that summer of 2012. If we knew I would win Wimbledon and him Olympics, I think we both would have taken it. It was a great summer for us," said the world number two.
Federer broke for a 3-0 lead in the first set against Simon before rain sent the players off Court One for the first rain delay. Forty minutes later, they returned and Federer swiftly claimed the opener on the back of 15 winners to Simon's four.
The Swiss was 4-3 up with a break in the second and then moved to 5-3 on his 116th consecutive service hold, a streak stretching back to the first round in Halle last month.
But that record was shattered in the next game when 30-year-old Simon broke the 17-time major winner, who had only faced two break points at this year's Wimbledon before Wednesday. Federer took swift revenge, however, by regaining the advantage and he was serving for a two sets lead when the showers returned, causing another hold-up for 40 minutes.
It had little effect on the Swiss great as a service winner and back-to-back aces gave him the second set 7-5. Federer breezed through the decider with breaks in the first and seventh games.
Andy Murray of Britain celebrates winning a point during his men's singles quarter-final match of the 2015 Wimbledon Championships against Vasek Pospisil of Canada at The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club in London, on July 8, 2015. (Reuters Photo)
Murray edges Pospisil
Murray illuminated a rainy day at The All England Club with a ruthlessly efficient display, collecting his 150th Grand Slam match victory to move a step closer to his second Wimbledon title.
Murray was playing his eighth successive Wimbledon quarter-final, taking a 3-0 lead into his match-up with world number 56 Pospisil who had never previously got beyond the third round of a major. All their three meetings have come in the last 10 months with the 25-year-old Canadian unable to win a single set.
Murray's progress was interrupted when rain forced a half-hour delay when he was leading 3-1 in the first set, but he remained in the ascendency after the resumption.
In the breaks between games, Pospisil was seen leafing through a blue notebook that seemed to contain tips on strategy. But when they returned under the closed roof after another rain delay, the world number 56 still had no answers.
Pospisil spent more than eight hours on court on Monday, first beating Viktor Troicki in the singles in five sets and then losing a five-setter with Jack Sock against Murray's brother Jamie and John Peers. Pospisil's win over Troicki was his third five-set win in four rounds at The All England Club this year.
Frustrated by a time violation warning for taking too long between points, Pospisil lost concentration and Murray took advantage to break for a 6-5 lead that effectively sealed the second set. Pospisil was infuriated by another time violation at 4-4 in the third set and once again Murray was ready to pounce as he stole the break before serving out the win.
The 28-year-old Scot will make his 17th Grand Slam semi-final appearance, and his sixth at the All England Club, against seven-time champion Federer.
"I felt like I played some good stuff considering he served extremely well for long periods," Murray said. "It was tough because we stopped a few times and it was difficult conditions.
"I've loved playing here over the years. I've played some of my best tennis here. I hope I can get to another final but it will be a tough one."
Although Murray lost his only previous Wimbledon clash with Federer in the 2012 final and trails their head to head 11-12, he can take heart from his demolition of the Swiss great in the Olympic final at The All England Club later that year.
"I've played Roger many times. I know him well and we get on well, but obviously on Friday it will be a different story," Murray said. "We've played some good matches here and hopefully this will be a great one."