WIMBLEDON, England (AP) — Roger Federer neutralized Ivo Karlovic's huge serves Wednesday to reach the Wimbledon semifinals and move a step closer to a record 15th Grand Slam championship. Two-time finalist Andy Roddick, Andy Murray and Tommy Haas completed the final four.
In a match featuring short points and few rallies, Federer conjured up a few great returns to break the 6-foot-10 Croatian twice and secure a 6-3, 7-5, 7-6 (3) victory on another sunbaked day at the All England Club.
Federer, closing in on his sixth Wimbledon title, reached his 21st consecutive semifinal at a Grand Slam tournament and extended his winning streak to 17 matches with another vintage performance on his favorite Centre Court.
"I love the record I have of reaching so many semifinals in Grand Slams in a row — 21 is quite a number," Federer said. "It shows how consistent I've been."
It was Federer's ninth win in 10 matches against Karlovic, who was playing in his first Grand Slam quarterfinal.
Federer's next opponent will be Germany's Tommy Haas, who upset fourth-seeded Novak Djokovic 7-5, 7-6 (6), 4-6, 6-3 to advance to his first Wimbledon semifinal. The 31-year-old Haas was the oldest player in the quarters, while the 22-year-old Djokovic was the youngest.
Third-seeded Andy Murray swept Juan Carlos Ferrero 7-5, 6-3, 6-2 to reach his first Wimbledon semifinal and keep up his bid to become the first British player to win the men's title since Fred Perry in 1936.
Murray will face the sixth-seeded Roddick, who served 43 aces and outlasted 2002 champion Lleyton Hewitt 6-3, 6-7 (10), 7-6 (1), 4-6, 6-4 in the day's most competitive match. Hewitt battled back from two sets to one down, before Roddick broke for 5-4 in the fifth and then served out the match — which ended after 3 hours, 50 minutes when the Australian popped up a forehand half-volley past the baseline.
"It's a testament to the type of player he is that he kept going and made it such a fight," said the 26-year-old Roddick, who lost to Federer in the 2004 and '05 Wimbledon finals. "I think there's a lot of respect there. We used to get into it a little bit when we were younger, but I think we definitely earned each other's respect. Now we're just a couple of old married dudes, so maybe we've grown up a little bit."
Murray broke the Spaniard five times, served 18 aces and lost serve only once. Murray had 49 winners, compared to 20 for Ferrero, a former No. 1 and only third wild card to reach the Wimbledon quarters.
It was a dominant performance by Murray, the first Briton to reach the semifinals since Tim Henman did it for the fourth time in 2002.
"I feel confident because I've won a lot of matches on the grass," Murray said. "But every day, when I get up to play the matches, I know that I'm going to have to perform very well, and that gets the nerves and the adrenaline going and makes me play better."