Tomas Berdych booked his first Wimbledon semi-final appearance since 2010 with a straight-sets victory over Lucas Pouille on Wednesday.
The 10th seed edged a tight opening set on No. 1 Court before cruising through 7-6 (7-4) 6-3 6-2 to seal a last-four spot for the first time since he reached the final six years ago – when he lost to Rafael Nadal.
A competitive start saw both men pull winners out of the bag with Pouille showing no nerves on his grand-slam quarter-final debut.
The Frenchman was not afraid to step in and vary his approach and he needed to as he broke back immediately after Berdych had taken the third game of the match.
Another opening passed by Pouille and he was made to rue that as Berdych took control early in the breaker, the 30-year-old racing into a 5-1 lead before converting his first set point with a booming forehand.
If the first had been close, the second was far from it as unforced errors crept into Pouille's play, his first serve particularly at fault for handing Berdych a glut of points.
Berdych took the first three games and that was enough to go two sets up, Pouille finding some form but he was wasteful in promising positions – including a break chance in the fifth.
With a comfortable cushion, Berdych's experience told as Pouille continued to struggle to find a consistent level, his Czech opponent producing a flurry of winners from both the baseline and the net.
Five successive games put Berdych on the brink of his second Wimbledon semi and he brought an end to Pouille's best grand-slam performance with a composed service game.
Berdych (10) by Pouille (32) 7-6 (7-4) 6-3 6-2
Berdych – 35/24
Pouille – 23/34
Berdych – 10
Pouille – 9
BREAK POINTS WON
Berdych – 4/8
Pouille – 1/4
FIRST SERVE PERCENTAGE
Berdych – 60
Pouille – 58
PERCENTAGE OF POINTS WON ON FIRST/SECOND SERVE
Berdych – 87/51
Pouille – 71/33
Berdych – 111
Pouille – 83