There was a point in the first set, when Roger Federer produced a backhand from outside the court that skimmed the tape of the net and zipped through to the other side, only to just, just, land outside the line. That was the kind of shot that nobody else could have even imagined producing, the kind of otherworldly tennis that only Federer can provide.

Moments such as those were in evidence on a few occasions, but, on Friday, in the semifinals of Wimbledon 2017, it wasn't Federer at his sublime best, it was Federer at his champion best, winning the match, and that too in straight sets, even when he was properly put to the test by his opponent Tomas Berdych.

While he failed to win that point, for most of that first set, Federer was in the zone, firing in the winners on the forehand and backhand and making Tomas Berdych sweat. And yet, the man from the Czech Republic came back, making sure it would be Federer who would have to sweat it out, as the possibility of the great man finally dropping a set in these Wimbledon Championships of 2017 looked like a possibility.

But then came a wonderful run of points in the tie-breaker and the first set was in the bag.

The second was also about going back and forth, with Berdych refusing to wilt under the pressure of the Federer forehands and backhands. Another tie-break it was, and another bunch of quality points under pressure from the man who has 18 Grand Slam titles to his name.

He moved to within a win of number 19, when he got the break he needed in that third set and saw it out to clinch the match 7-6 (7-4), 7-6 (7-4), 6-4 in two hours and 18 minutes.

Now awaits the man who has won a major before, but never at Wimbledon. The grass courts of the All-England club might seem like the perfect surface for a big man like Marin Cilic, but this will be the Croatian's first ever Wimbledon final.

Roger Federer, Wimbledon 2017, Marin Cilic, Tomas Berdych, semifinals
Those grass courts adore him: Roger Federer celebrates his win over Tomas Berdych, July 14, 2017Reuters

Up against arguably the greatest ever player to grace these courts.

Cilic had to pull out all the stops to bring to an end Sam Querrey's impressive run, but that match will feel like a lazy Sunday morning stroll compared to what awaits the Croat in the final.

This is Federer in nobody-else-shall-take-the-title mode, and when Federer is in that mode, there are very, very few players in the world (maybe Rafael Nadal at his peak) that can stop him.

Cilic has all the weapons to put Federer under pressure, but if those backhands find the mark, those forehands bring out gasps of disbelief and those serves keep coming in like a tracer bullets, that evergreen 35-year-old will stand tall at the end, with tears probably pouring down his face as he lifts the most coveted title of all in men's tennis.

Federer talks about that semifinal performance