Competing at Roland Garros for the first time since 2015, a former champion Roger Federer is through to his first Parisian semi-final since 2012 with a 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 6-4 triumph over a compatriot Stan Wawrinka. The match lasted for three hours and 35 minutes and it offered a high level of tennis, as was expected from these two who fought here in 2015 as well, in what was Roger's last Roland Garros encounter before this year.
After a thrilling five hours and nine minutes win over Stefanos Tsitsipas two days ago, Stan gave his everything to stay in touch with Roger as well, taking the set out of a great rival but finishing on the losing side for the 23rd time in 26 clashes against Roger.
Federer and Wawrinka gave the crowd something to cheer about almost from start to finish, blasting more than 100 winners and delivering some stunning shots in the match of the day. Roger finished the job with 53 winners and 49 unforced errors, rushing to the net 60 times and trying to keep the points on his racquet, as always this fortnight in Paris.
He created 18 break chances and converted only two, the same as Stan from his five opportunities, enough to stay locked up almost all the time and play one of their best matches on the big scene. Federer scored a late break once they returned to the court after a rain delay, securing the win in straight sets and setting the semi-final clash with Rafael Nadal, 14 years after the first one here at Roland Garros!
Wawrinka saved four break points in the first set to reach a tie break that Roger won 7-4, bouncing back with a break in game three of set number two, serving well in the rest of the set for a 6-4 and to level the overall score.
Trading breaks in set number three, Stan repelled set points in game ten and wasting chances in the following return game, dropping the breaker 7-5 to push Roger in front again before that crucial break for Federer in the ninth game of the fourth set that secured the victory for him.
At the age of 37 years and nine months, Roger has become the oldest Roland Garros semi-finalist since Pancho Gonzales in 1968 and also the oldest Major semi-finalist since Jimmy Connors at the US Open 1991.