Roger Federer is surprising even himself with his latest record-setting run to the Wimbledon quarter-finals.
Like a vintage Rolls Royce, Federer cruised into the last eight for a mind-boggling 16th time with another imperious center-court display at The All England Club.
Federer took his tally of consecutive sets won on London’s hallowed lawns to 32 with a 6-0 7-5 6-4 dispatch of dangerous French left-hander Adrian Mannarino.
He swept through the opening set in just 16 minutes, dropping just five points, before shifting down a gear to conserve petrol for his second-week drive to hopefully a ninth title.
“I didn’t miss much so I was very happy with the match,” Federer said after booking a last-eight date with South African Kevin Anderson.
“I’m very pleased to be back in the second week.”
One more straight-sets win would have Federer eclipsing his previous longest streak at the All England Club when he won 34 sets in a row between the third round in 2005 and 2006 final.
“I feel like these streaks just happen,” he said.
“You can’t plan for them anyway.”
Three-time Wimbledon champion John McEnroe said it was a “privilege” to still be able to see the Swiss marvel strut his stuff on tennis’s most famous center court and, a month shy of his 37th birthday, Federer said he could barely believe it either.
When he lost his 2016 semi-final to Milos Raonic, Federer feared his career may be over after seriously injuring his knee in an on-court tumble.
But in a simply stunning two years since, the grand master has lost just seven of 88 matches and taken his record title haul to a magical 20 slams.
And all on a surgically-repaired knee.
“I told my team the other day that for me also, after all these years, it is surprising to be the No.1 seed, in the top-two rankings at 36,” he said.
“I didn’t think that was ever going to happen, to be honest.”
Federer plays Anderson on Wednesday after the eighth seed edged flamboyant Frenchman Gael Monfils 7-6 (7-4) 7-6 (7-2) 5-7 7-6 (7-4) in one of the matches of the championship.
The pair were joined in the last eight for the first time by big-serving John Isner, who continues to prosper in London’s scorching conditions.
Isner added another 22 aces to his tournament-topping tally that now stands at 135 after the ninth seed’s 6-4 7-6 (10-8) 7-6 (7-5) triumph over young Greek sensation Stefanos Tsitsipas.
Isner is the last American man standing after his next opponent, 2016 finalist Milos Raonic, ended Mackenzie McDonald’s breakout grand-slam performance with a 6-3 6-4 6-7 (5-7) 6-2 fourth-round victory.
Kei Nishikori – Nick Kyrgios’s third-round vanquisher – also marched through, the Japanese superstar stopping fatiguing Latvian qualifier Ernests Gulbis 4-6 7-6 (7-5) 7-6 (12-10) 6-1.
Novak Djokovic is Nishikori’s next challenge after the three-time champion thumped Russian Karen Khachanov 6-4 6-2 6-2 in an ominous display.
And Rafael Nadal reached the quarter-finals for the first time in seven years with a 6-3 6-3 6-4 win over Jiri Vesely.
The world No.1 will meet either fifth seed Juan Martin del Potro or Frenchman Gilles Simon, whose match was suspended due to darkness with the Argentine leading 7-6 (7-1) 7-6 (7-5) 5-7.