Andy Murray stayed on course for a second Wimbledon title but was made to work hard for a 6-4 7-5 6-4 quarter-final defeat of Canada's Vasek Pospisil on Wednesday.
A match that started under grey skies and finished under Centre Court's roof because of rain showers was never straightforward for the third seed but his grand slam pedigree told in the important moments.
Cheered on by a full house that included Prince William, his wife the Duchess of Cambridge and former England soccer captain David Beckham, Murray broke serve in the third game of the match and was leading 3-1 when light rain forced a suspension of play.
On the resumption Murray resisted some eye-catching tennis from the quarter-final debutant but moved a set ahead when 25-year-old Pospisil netted a forehand.
Another rain break in the second set with Murray down 4-3, which this time prompted the roof to close, seemed to unsettle Pospisil and he dropped serve at 5-5 when he was left floundering at the net by a dipping Murray backhand.
Murray pressed hard in the third set but Pospisil did not crack and even when Murray served for the match at 5-4 Pospisil earned his first break point of the match.
He could not take it though and Murray secured the win with a rasping forehand on his second match point to reach his sixth Wimbledon semi-final where he will face seven-times champion Roger Federer who thrashed Frenchman Gilles Simon.
"I thought I played some good stuff but he served very well," Murray said moments after securing his 150th grand slam match win. "I hope I can get to another final but it's going to be another tough one on Friday."
Federer at his silky best
Meanwhile, Roger Federer was at his regal best as he floated into the semi-finals with a silky 6-3, 7-5, 6-2 win over Frenchman Gilles Simon.
Federer was broken for the first time at this year's championships but apart from that blip he did not put a foot wrong as he reached his 37th grand slam semi-final, and 10th at the All England Club.
Such was the seven-times champion's command of the match that the only thing that could halt the Swiss second seed's charge was two separate 40 minute rain breaks on No. 1 Court.
Simon did earn some bragging rights for finally breaking the mighty Federer serve after 116 holds, stretching back to the first round of last month's Halle Open, but otherwise he could only watch in wonder at the winners flying off the Swiss maestro's strings.
A high backhand volley dinked away at the net ended Simon's misery.
Djokovic glides past Cilic into semi-finals
Novak Djokovic reached the Wimbledon semi-finals by winning the battle of Grand Slam champions against Marin Cilic with a comfortable 6-4, 6-4, 6-4 Centre Court victory on Wednesday.
Top seed Djokovic had not lost a match to the Croat and his unbeaten record never looked in danger against the U.S. Open champion who failed to master the Serb's precise groundstrokes.
The holder made it into his 27th grand slam semi with his 50th win at Wimbledon, only the seventh man to reach that number of victories, and was surely relieved to have an easy time of it.
The Serb had to recover from two sets down in the last 16 against South African Kevin Anderson but his crisp passing shots ensured big-serving ninth seed Cilic never got a look in.
Djokovic broke in the third game of the first set, the ninth game of the second set and the seventh game of the final set to wrap up victory inside two hours on a cool London evening.