Having let three match points slide in the fourth set against Roger Federer on Centre Court, Marin Cilic may be forgiven for wanting to rewind the video and replay the key moments again.
His Swiss conqueror snatched a pulsating fourth-set tiebreak 11-9 before winning 6-7 (4-7) 4-6 6-3 7-6 (11-9) 6-3 to reach his 11th Wimbledon semi-final and keep up the tilt for an eighth title.
“If we would go back to play again, I would try to be more aggressive on the chances when I had them in the fourth,” the Croatian ninth seed told reporters.
“Maybe there was a slight hesitation in some of them obviously. The situation made it big. In those situations, I was not getting the best out of me.”
In a clinical breakdown of what sent the crowd packed with Federer fans into near delirium, Cilic, 27, outlined how the match turned.
“In the fourth set, actually on two of the break points that I had 15-40 (in the opening game), I missed on both times second serve returns. They’re the ones I regret most,” the 2014 US Open winner said.
In contrast to the celebrations in the Federer camp and among ther Swiss maestro’s celebrity supporters such as David Beckham, the Cilic team, led by 2001 champion Goran Ivanisevic, gave little cheer – even when their man was ahead.
“Especially in these kind of matches, nobody is going to laugh and smile. No time for that. Have to be … very careful,” he said. “… after the match, we didn’t speak. I hardly spoke a word since then.”
Despite being given the silent treatment, Cilic credits countryman Ivanisevic for bringing him back towards the form that saw him lift the title at Flushing Meadows after they started working together in 2013.
“He brought a lot to my game,” he said. “Today’s match can give me guidance to improvement. It just shows me when I’m playing great game, great tennis, I can compete with the best guys, even be on top of them. That’s a positive part.”
But a shot at the biggest prize on grass has eluded him for another year as he failed again to reach the last four having made three consecutive quarter-finals.
“Still not in the semis, so hopefully next year,” he said, smiling.