Cilic was seen by many observers, including seven-times Wimbledon victor Federer, as the one player from outside the top five who could be a real challenger this year at Wimbledon and that appears to have also boosted the Croat's morale. Since then he has won a 10th French Open title last month, reached the Australian Open final, won three other titles, and reached two more finals.
"I'd love to see that final", Hewitt said. "Murray and Federer are probably my two favourites at the moment".
Federer said he had learned to manage his body - citing last year's French Open when he arrived at Roland Garros struggling with knee and back injuries and made a decision to pull out of the tournament before it began. It was a ideal setting.
"I'm so so happy to be in another semi-final".
The 30-year-old felt the elbow was now at its worst, saying: "Obviously where things stand at the moment with this injury, I have to obviously see what needs to be done, how much time it's going to take". "I had a pretty good run so far". But then came the "injury Wednesday", when a hobbling Andy Murray and an in-pain Novak Djokovic crashed out of the tournament. "It's nice to see them still hanging on, still enjoying the tour, making it hard for the youngsters to break through".
The 26-year-old Raonic had beaten Federer, 35, in last year's Wimbledon semifinals before losing to Andy Murray in the final. But Raonic couldn't summon the same performance this time against the third-seeded Federer.
Andy Murray helpfully reminds reporter that, yes, female tennis players do exist
Federer repeatedly did what had worked so well for him versus Raonic in the past: get the big man moving.
With games in hand, Federer began to enjoy himself and some spectators even bowed in appreciation when another volley of forehands rained down on Raonic. Federer often aimed his passing shots at Raonic's body or low at his feet to keep the tall Canadian off-balance.
And that was all Federer would need, serving out the set.
CoCo Vandeweghe is into the quarterfinals at Wimbledon for the second time after defeating fifth-seeded Caroline Wozniacki 7-6 (4), 6-4 on No. 3 Court. Federer only got better as the set wore on, while Raonic started to struggle with his forehand.
The Swiss star needed just one match point to seal the deal, courtesy of a Raonic unforced error. In the last ten matches, Roger Federer won nine matches and lost one match. Up 3-0 in the tiebreaker, it seemed the window had opened for another five-set comeback.
Usually when a player is taking the kind of beating Federer was handing out on a sunlit Centre Court, the crowd throw their weight behind the underdog. But the Swiss stepped in to hit an astonishing return of serve victor to level things, serve-and-volleyed twice, and made a running forehand pass onto the line for 5-3.