A brilliant Roger Federer proved he is far from a spent force, setting up an enticing finale for the French Open against Rafael Nadal after masterfully bringing to an end Novak Djokovic's 41-game winning streak.
It is already being billed as the best match of the year. Such was the quality on display between two players regarded as the best player at the moment and the best player in history. Eventually Federer capped an imperious display with a 7-6 6-3 3-6 7-6 win, in what he later claimed to be one of his greatest matches.
Federer was on the attack right from the off and despite having a poor conversion rate on break points, the sheer number of them he forced was ample proof of his intent. The two battled neck-to-neck in the first set and a tie-breaker was required to seperate them. Clearly the crowd's favorite, there were cheers all around as Federer won the tie-breaker.
The third seed breezed through the second and with a 2-0 set lead, he seemed likely to end matters within the straight-sets. However, Djokovic found his rhythm in the third, and some impressive returns saw him drag himself back into contention.
It all set up perfectly for the fourth and crucial set. And just like the first, the twosome battled neck-to-neck until a tie breaker was deemed necessary. Federer was leading 6-3 in the tie-breaker with three match points, but Djokovic saved one after which Federer found the net. The Serb then smashed an ace for 6-5. And how did Federer react? He let zip an ace himself for game, set and match.
It is sure to go down as one of the classics of the French Open. Federer will meet his old-rival Rafael Nadal, who beat Andy Murray in straight sets in the first semi, in the final - a final not many would have predicted considering Djokovic's form.
Federer has also proved he is a specialist at breaking streaks, having broken Sampras' four-year Wimbledon reign and Nadal's 81-match unbeaten run on clay previously. He has added Djokovic's streak on that list, and on this evidence, Nadal will have to conjure up something special to defeat the legend that is Roger Federer.