Great Britain's Andy Murray believes Roger Federer can still play at the top level for another four years as he prepares for his semi-final showdown against the Swiss legend on Friday.
Only Murray, the home-town hero, stands between Federer and a shot at a record eighth Wimbledon title.
The 33-year-old not won a final at Wimbledon since he defeated Murray in the decider in 2012, but having only dropped one set throughout the entire tournament, the world No.2 appears to be on the brink of producing something special at the All England Club.
Federer, who made light work of Frenchman Gilles Simon (6-3, 7-5, 6-2) in the quarter-final on Wednesday, is equal with American Pete Sampras on seven with the most Wimbledon championship triumphs in the Open era.
While he still has to get past Murray in his own backyard for a chance to win his eighth All England crown , the Scot says there's no sign of slowing down from arguably the sport's greatest player.
"I have no idea how long he can keep competing at the top level - no one knows," Murray said.
"It could be three, four years at the rate he's going just now. But, you know, that depends on a lot of things. If he wants to continue doing that or not. But, yeah, the reasons why he's still at the top is he has a pretty efficient game style. He's quite loose on the court. But he's also played loads of matches over his career. I mean, he's played so many tennis matches, as well.
"So it's very impressive that he's managed to stay at the top of the game for so long, considering how long he's been at the top of the game for and how many matches he's played. It's significantly more than a lot of the guys that have been at the top of the game for a long time. I mean, he's won over a thousand matches and played over 1200 matches. That's a lot of tennis."
In Federer's victory against the No.12 seed Simon, a run of 116 successive service holds, which started back to his first round victory against Philipp Kohlschreiber in a lead-up tournament in Halle, came to an end when he failed to serve out the set at 5-4 in the second.
Federer said he was aware of the streak but wasn't fazed about it coming to an end, delighted it last so long.
"Yes, I've heard of it, but then again, I don't keep count when I'm out there," he said.
"I'm just trying to focus on the next service game, on the next point, the next serve. I'm happy it lasted as long as it did. At the same time, I'm also relieved that I did get a break. I guess we're not going to talk about that anymore and I can just focus, even in here, on the normal things. Not whether I'm going to hold serve or not. Because holding serve is not going to really do much for now.
"But it's been a great streak. It goes to show what I'm doing off the baseline on my serve, or serve‑volleying, the way I'm hitting it and placing it seems to work, especially on the grass now."
The 2012 final between Federer and Murray, who knocked off Canadian Vasek Pospisil in the quarter-finals (6-4, 7-5, 6-4), was the first of three big meetings the pair enjoyed that year with Murray going on to defeat the veteran in straight sets in both the Olympics final and again at the Shanghai Masters.
"It brings back those memories of a great summer for both of us," Federer said of the match-up against Murray.
"Yeah, just all the matches we've played against one another. More importantly for me, yeah, like you said, I'm very happy to be in the semis again. The road is long getting here. But still I feel like I'm fresh and I've got energy left in the tank for hopefully a great match with Andy and then we'll see. But I'm looking forward to it."
Andy Murray says Roger Federer could still have four years at the top ahead of semi final showdown
Thursday, July 9, 2015 on Labels: Trends Australia