LONDON - Marin Cilic reached his first Wimbledon semi-final with a 3-6, 7-6 (8/6), 7-5, 5-7, 6-1 victory over Luxembourg's Gilles Muller on Wednesday.
Cilic had lost in the quarter-finals on his last three visits to Wimbledon, but the former US Open champion finally made it to the last four at the expense of the man who stunned Rafael Nadal in the last 16.
World number six Cilic, in his first major semi-final since the 2015 US Open, faces American Sam Querrey, who defeated defending champion Andy Murray, for a place in Sunday's final.
It has taken the Croatian 11 Wimbledon appearances to reach the semi-finals, tied for second most in the Open era with Tommy Haas.
"It means a lot. It's an amazing achievement, three times I got stuck in the quarters," Cilic said. "It was a real hard fought battle, Gilles was serving unbelievable.
"It was just a couple of points deciding the match. I kept my cool. It was a relief to finally do it."
Cilic is the third Croatian man to reach the Wimbledon semi-finals after Goran Ivanisevic and Mario Ancic.
Cilic, hoping to reach his second major final, has won all four of his meetings with 24th seed Querrey, including three at Wimbledon in 2009, 2012 and 2015.
The second of those encounters was the second longest match in Wimbledon history at five hours and 31 minutes, something Cilic doesn't want to experience when he faces Querrey again on Friday.
"Hopefully it's not the longest one ever," he said. "Sam plays really well, especially this season. Hopefully I can get into my rhythm and play good tennis."
After shocking Nadal in the fourth round, 34-year-old Muller became the latest player to lose in the next round following an unexpected Wimbledon win over the Spanish star.
Having made the last eight without dropping a set, Cilic's unblemished run was ended as Muller drew first blood.
But Cilic had beaten Muller on grass in the Queen's Club semi-finals last month and once again he had the solution to his opponent's blistering serve.
The 28-year-old hit back to take the next two sets, in the process ending Muller's run of 31 successive service games won.
Muller, 34, was attempting to reach his first Grand Slam semi-final, but Cilic landed an early break in the decider and served out the win in ruthless fashion.