LONDON – Novak Djokovic took what designed as an entertaining, successful matchup in the Wimbledon quarter-finals and was quickly transformed into a biased push with a 10-game run.
Also promotion was eight gang champion Roger Federer, who became the first player to win 100 games at a Grand Slam tournament to reach his 13-semifinal at the All England Club.
In an early break, Djokovic, the defending champion, took midway through the opening set Wednesday and never escaped, overwhelmingly the 21-seeded David Goffin 6-4, 6-0, 6-2 to reach his ninth semifinal.
"That could of course have been different," Djokovic said. "Who knows how the fight would look if I lost the first set?"
Djokovic seeks his fifth Wimbledon championship and the 17th Grand Slam trophy in general. He tied Boris Becker, Arthur Gore and Herbert Lawford for the third time with his ninth semifinal here.
Federer, who has a total record of 100-12 in Wimbledon, was broken in his opening service game but did not have much trouble after that and beating the eighth-seed Kei Nishikori 4-6, 6-1, 6- 4, 6-4.
In the semi-finals Federer meets either Rafael Nadal or Sam Querrey.
If Nadal wins, it would be his first game against Federer in Wimbledon since their epic 2008 final – which Nadal won in a five-set thriller that took 4 hours, 48 minutes to play (a man's final record).
The 21st-seeded Goffin started well enough against Djokovic at Center Court on an afternoon that was damp and sunny but not too hot, with the temperature in the mid 70s.
Hoping to reach his first major semifinals, Goffin claimed three of the first four points that lasted at least 10 strokes. He won the couple's last meeting, on clay in 2017, and it looked a bit like it was being challenged on the slower surface.
Goffin could hang in there at baseline and his on-the-run appropriate shot was called. He broke up to go 4-3 for 33 minutes, then jogged to the sidelines with a raised fist.
Until then, Goffin played sharp and clean. He had not stood as much as a break point against Djokovic, generally considered the top return in the game.
"He dictated the game from the baseline," Djokovic said later. "Most of the rallies went their way."
But that was when everything changed.
Djokovic, who became the fourth man in Open Era to play 70 games in Wimbledon, did Goffin exactly what he does with so many opponents on so many surfaces and in so many tournaments: He takes their best shot, handles it and then carry them.
Looking at 30-love in the next next game, Goffin double-faulted. Then he flubber a forehand. After limiting itself to three undisturbed errors through the initial 49 points of the match, Belgium made two in succession. The next point was a weird one who involved a late-line call and a challenge from Goffin who lost it and faced his first break point.
Djokovic could not convert one, but moments later, Goffin sent a pre-wide to put up a second. This time Djokovic ended a 20-stroke exchange with a drop volley winner. And soon he was on his way, sliding or making the splits along the baseline to get to the ball few others would, bent his body this way, and to repeatedly force Goffin to hit an extra shot.
It's a vanishing brand of tennis and it was too much for Goffin. He would win about 50 minutes until he managed to win another game.
"He played well," said Djokovic of Goffin. "I just managed to find holes in his game and attack him. I've played as well as I've played the whole tournament."
Bautista Agut broke Pella in the opening game for the first two sets, and then again for a 2-1 lead in the fourth. No. The 23-seed served the victory at his first match when Pella sent a forehand long.
The 31-year-old Bautista Agut, who was never past the fourth round of a Grand Slam before, was the only player to reach the quarterfinals without losing a set. In the meantime, Pella had spent almost twice as much time on the court – 12 hours, 47 minutes compared to 6 hours, 48 minutes – after coming through two five settlers.
Associated Press contributed to this report.