London, Jul 2: Five-time Wimbledon champion Roger Federer reached his 21st consecutive Grand Slam semi-final on Wednesday with a majestic 6-3, 7-5, 7-6 (7/3) win over giant Croatian Ivo Karlovic.
Federer, bidding for a sixth All England Club title and a record 15th major, will now tackle either German veteran Tommy Haas or Serbian fourth seed Novak Djokovic for a place in Sunday's final.
Haas, the oldest man left in the draw at 31, pushed Federer to the brink of defeat at the French Open when he took a two-sets lead.
Going into Wednesday's clash, Karlovic hadn't dropped serve in the tournament, he had won 79 service games in four rounds and faced just four break points.
But second seed Federer ended that streak in the fourth game when a sumptuous backhand return followed by a sublime forehand pass gave him the first break against the 6ft 10in (2.08m) Croatian to lead 3-1.
That quickly became 4-1 against a player he had already defeated eight times in nine matches.
Federer wrapped up the opener after 23 minutes having conceded just three points in four service games.
By comparison, 30-year-old Karlovic, the 22nd seed, suffered a dramatic powercut.
Having fired a huge 137 aces in four matches to reach his first Grand Slam quarter-final, he managed just three in the first set.
Federer broke again to lead 6-5 in the second set courtesy of a stunning backhand return off a power-packed Karlovic first serve followed by a deft forehand which the Croatian could only push wide.
The Swiss, having conceded just four more points on his serve, took the set in the next game after only an hour on court when Karlovic went long with a return.
Service dominated the third set with Karlovic upping his ace count to 22 while Federer leaked just another four points off his own serve.
The world number two dominated the tie-break, stretching to a 5/2 lead before romping into a seventh successive Wimbledon semi-final with another sweeping forehand.