Federer at his silky best to reach Wimbledon semis

LONDON: Roger Federer was at his regal best as he floated into the Wimbledon semi-finals with a silky 6-3 7-5 6-2 win over Frenchman Gilles Simon on Wednesday.

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.

There he will play home favourite Andy Murray who he beat to win the 2012 title -- the last of his 17 grand slam titles.

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 Federer serve after 116 successive holds, stretching back to the first round of last month's Halle Open.

Otherwise, he could only watch in wonder at the winners flying off the Swiss maestro's strings.

"(My) reaction was always going to be important once the streak ended and the serve was broken," said Federer.

"I was able to do that because Gilles is a quality return player. The game I got broken, he was too good so no problem to accept that," added the Swiss, who fired down 11 aces and 36 winners during the dazzling 95-minute exhibition.

The world number two broke Simon once in the first set, twice in the second and twice more in the third as he rolled on towards a sixth successive win over the luckless Frenchman.

A high backhand volley dinked away at the net ended Simon's hopes of reaching his first grand slam semi-final.

"The stop-and-goes are tough as you never know how you are going to come back from them but I used them to my advantage," said Federer of the rain delays.

"The breaks actually helped me rather than hindered me, I am very happy to have managed the conditions."