Paris, June 4: Roger Federer continued his impressive French Open return by overcoming resilient Swiss counterpart Stan Wawrinka 7-6 (7-4) 4-6 7-6 (7-5) 6-4 in a thoroughly entertaining quarter-final on Tuesday.
In a battle between close friends who displayed incredible shot-making throughout, it was 37-year-old Federer, making his first appearance at Roland Garros since 2015, who won the rain-interrupted encounter to set up a mouth-watering semi-final against long-time rival and 11-time French Open champion Rafael Nadal.
In the process, the world number three became the oldest man to reach the last four in Paris in the Open era since the 40-year-old Pancho Gonzales in 1968.
Wawrinka, who spent five hours on court in a dramatic win over Stefanos Tsitsipas last time out, beat Federer at this stage en route to claiming the title in 2015, but he could not repeat the feat as his best grand slam display since returning from a pair of left knee operations 22 months ago ended.
The three-time major winner became the first player at Roland Garros this year to take a set off Federer, the 37-year-old converting just two of the 18 break points that came his way.
However, Federer, who came back from a break down in the third set, comfortably finished off the job after a delay of over an hour due to a storm when it was 3-3 in the fourth.