The third-seeded Swiss great, trying for a record eighth Wimbledon title, systematically dismantled Raonic in quarter-final action at the All England Club on Wednesday with a 6-4, 6-2, 7-6 (4) victory.
It was less of a routine victory than the score suggests. "As much as you can say about sport, which is one of the least predictable things, he has it in his grasp".
Murray won praise after correcting a journalist who said Sam Querrey was "the first U.S. player to reach a major semi-final since 2009".
That slump came in the aftermath of some very lengthy late-season matches in 2016 as part of Davis Cup play.
But coming back to Federer, he has been in form of a lifetime, having lost just two matches in 2017 and even in those contests, he had a match point!
Winless in four previous meetings with Cilic, Querrey made a promising start but three successive gruelling five-set wins over Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Kevin Anderson and top-seeded titleholder Andy Murray eventually took a toll.More news: Chance of showers again Friday across MA
"After that [first tiebreaker], I was just a little bit better on the return games", Cilic said. But Querrey broke back to force another tiebreaker.
But Cilic, who won the United States Open in 2014, also had a favorable draw. He won his only major title three years ago in NY, beating Roger Federer in the semifinals and Kei Nishikori in the final. In fact, there hasn't been an American man in a singles final in 42 of the past 43 Grand Slam events. They've got big serves, big forehands, big hitters really. Serena Williams has won over 10 titles in that time, with sister Venus Williams reaching the semi-finals for the last two years. "Probably the fact that I played yesterday, kind of days adding up, as I've said before, it wasn't helping at all".
Querrey advanced to the semifinals by winning three consecutive five-set matches, joining Todd Martin (1994) as the only American men to accomplish that feat at Wimbledon in the Open era.
"There is a possibility that the doctors will propose surgery, but I don't think that is good", Djokovic told the Serbian press after his first Grand Slam retirement since the 2009 Australian Open quarterfinals.
Nonetheless, Querrey will get 720 ranking points for a semifinal appearance.