WIMBLEDON, England (AP) -- Roger Federer's final shot of the day clipped the let cord, dribbled over the net and settled softly in the grass, beyond even 6-foot-9 John Isner's reach.
The crowd responded with a collective "aww," Isner grimaced and Federer offered a sheepish wave of apology. But after all these years, he's probably overdue for a little luck in the Olympics.
Federer advanced Thursday to the semifinals by beating Isner 6-4, 7-6 (5). With that tall hurdle cleared, four-time Olympian Federer needs one more win to clinch the first singles medal of his career, which would plug the biggest hole in a resume that includes a record 17 Grand Slam titles.
"Being in the medal matches, at least I'll get two shots," Federer said. "That's why I looked at this match as a final. You can imagine the relief and happiness I feel right now."
On Friday, Federer will face No. 8-seeded Juan Martin del Potro of Argentina.