WORLD No1 Roger Federer overcame a shaky start to see off nemesis Nikolay Davydenko and reach a 23rd consecutive Grand Slam semi-final.
The Swiss star recovered from a set and 3-1 down with a storming run of 13 consecutive games before coming through 2-6, 6-3, 6-0, 7-5 against the Russian, who had beaten him in their two previous encounters.
He now takes on France’s Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, who beat third seed Novak Djokovic in a rollercoaster five-set thriller, 7-6 (8-6), 6-7 (5-7), 1-6, 6-3, 6-1.
Before Federer, no player had appeared in more than 10 consecutive Grand Slam semi-finals, and, to put his achievement into context, 1990s legend Pete Sampras only amassed 23 in his entire career.
But Federer feared the run, which stretches back to the 2004 French Open, would come to an end. “It’s incredible looking back on how many years it is now that I’m able to deliver at Grand Slam play, especially this year,” he said.
“I was just a bit worried I was not going to make it this time in the semis. You always believe the streak is going to be broken. Now the record is safe again and I’ve been able to add one more. It’s amazing. Definitely one of the most incredible things I have in my resume.”
Davydenko, however, cut a disconsolate figure, adding: “Again, again, again, like the same that has happened last time in a Grand Slam. I have a chance and I didn’t realise it and I lost.”
Djokovic, meanwhile, admitted he had been violently ill before stepping out on court against Tsonga but refused to use that as an excuse for defeat. “It was unfortunate that I couldn’t perform at the level I wanted to in the fourth and fifth sets,” he said. “I don’t want to find excuses for my loss, but, you know, I went to vomit and I had diarrhoea before the match. Just a terrible feeling.”