Wimbledon, England (SportsNetwork.com) – World No. 1 and reigning champion Novak Djokovic, seven-time titlist Roger Federer and former champ Andy Murray all found safe passage into Friday’s semifinals at Wimbledon, while French Open champion Stan Wawrinka was sent packing Wednesday at the All England Club.
The two-time Wimbledon winner Djokovic, playing on a third straight day, cruised past ninth-seeded U.S. Open champion Marin Cilic 6-4, 6-4, 6-4 on the famed Centre Court.
Djokovic owns eight Grand Slam titles and currently holds the Wimbledon and Aussie Open crowns and was last month’s French Open runner-up to Wawrinka.
The Serbian stalwart Djokovic beat Federer in last year’s final at Wimbledon, where Djokovic also titled in 2011 and was the 2013 runner-up to Murray.
Djokovic’s semifinal opponent will be nifty Frenchman Richard Gasquet.
The second-seeded former world No. 1 great Federer waited out a couple of rain delays and handled 12th-seeded Frenchman Gilles Simon 6-3, 7-5, 6-2 in 1 hour, 34 minutes on Court 1 on Day 9.
Federer improved to 78-9 lifetime at The Championships.
Meanwhile, the third-seeded British favorite Murray got past surprising Canadian Vasek Pospisil 6-4, 7-5, 6-4 on Centre Court, also after a couple of rain delays.
The 28-year-old two-time Grand Slam champion Murray is seeking a trip into a third Wimbledon final in four years. He lost to Federer in 2012 and beat Djokovic two years ago.
The 17-time Grand Slam king Federer and Murray will meet for a 24th time, with the Swiss holding a 12-11 lifetime edge. Federer is 4-1 in their Grand Slam matches, including 1-0 at the All England Club. The two stars have split a pair of matches on grass.
The 33-year-old Swiss icon Federer is a perfect 9-0 in his previous Wimbledon semis.
The match of the day Wednesday saw a 21st-seeded Gasquet upset the fourth- seeded Wawrinka 6-4, 4-6, 3-6, 6-4, 11-9 in 3 hours, 28 minutes in an epic battle on Court 1. Gasquet broke Wawrinka to end the match on what was the Frenchman’s third match point.
Wawrinka spanked 22 aces, but had his serve broken five times, while Gasquet only coughed up his serve on four occasions.
Gasquet had lost 15 of his previous 16 matches against top-10 players.
The 29-year-old Gasquet will appear in his first Wimbledon semifinal in eight years. He’s 1-11 lifetime against Djokovic, including a recent loss versus the Serb at Roland Garros.
The 2015 Wimbledon champ will pocket $2.9 million.