Roger Federer has exacted sweet revenge over Rafael Nadal to sweep into a record 12th Wimbledon final with an enthralling four-set triumph over the mighty Spaniard.
Echoes of 2008 reverberated around the All England Club as Federer and Nadal wound back the clock in their much-anticipated first Wimbledon match-up in 11 years.
But unlike Nadal's five-set victory in that epic encounter more than a decade ago, a match dubbed the greatest of all time, Federer reigned 7-6 (7-3), 1-6, 6-3, 6-3 in another classic on Friday to set up a blockbuster final with world No.1 Novak Djokovic.
Earlier on Centre Court, Djokovic watched as his Wimbledon semi-final opponent Roberto Bautista Agut's shot hit the net tape, pop in the air and slide over for a winner that tied things at a set apiece.
Spectators stood and cheered, perhaps thinking it would be a tight match. Djokovic waved at the crowd, sarcastically encouraging folks to get louder, as if to say, "Yeah, good for him and good for you. Enjoy it while you can".
Soon enough, the defending champion was bellowing and shaking his fist after putting away an overhead to go up a break in the third set. Moments later, he was ending a 45-stroke baseline exchange with a backhand winner to save a break point. Soon enough, it was over. Djokovic overcame Bautista Agut 6-2, 4-6, 6-3, 6-2 on Friday to reach his sixth final at the All England Club.
In Sunday's final, Djokovic will seek a fifth Wimbledon title and 16th Grand Slam trophy overall when he faces Federer.
The first semi-final was played under a cloudy sky and with a breeze that topped 15 km/h, occasionally bothering the No. 1-seeded Djokovic.
It was his 36th career appearance in the final four at a major tournament - and the debut in that round for Bautista Agut, who was seeded 23rd. Even he didn't really expect his visit to the All England Club to last this long: the Spaniard was supposed to meet a half-dozen of his buddies on the island of Ibiza this weekend for his bachelor party. Instead, those pals were sitting in a guest box at Centre Court on Friday.
Bautista Agut lost his way for a bit but the second set saw a shift. Djokovic stopped his until-then successful tactic of offering some variety and heading to the net when he could. His forehand also became problematic, while Bautista Agut couldn't seem to miss a shot. Bautista Agut already beat Djokovic twice earlier this season. Could he do it again?
No, largely because Djokovic rediscovered his best abilities. He came up bigger in the longest points, eventually holding a 29-17 edge when they lasted at least 10 strokes.
Federer said he was "very excited to say the least" to go up against Djokovic in the final.
Less than a month shy of his 38th birthday, Federer is the second-oldest man to reach a Wimbledon final, after 39-year-old Ken Rosewall in 1974, denying Nadal for the first time in five grand slam semi-finals between the two great rivals.
Federer and Djokovic will be clashing in the final for the third time on London's hallowed grass after the Serb prevailed in two riveting title deciders in 2014 and 2015.
Looking to match Bjorn Borg's tally of five Wimbledon crowns, Djokovic leads Federer 3-1 in grand slam finales, having also conquered the champion Swiss in the 2015 US Open showpiece.
Federer hasn't beaten Djokovic in a major final since 2007 in New York, but will carry renewed confidence into Sunday's showdown after upstaging Nadal for only the fourth time in 14 grand slam encounters.
Chasing a ninth title at the All England Club and a 21st career major overall, Federer pressed hard for the first service break against Nadal.
He upped his tennis to insane levels deep in the opening set but so supreme was Nadal too that the eight-time champion had to pull out all the stops to twice fight back from mini break points down to steal the set in a tiebreaker.
Unable to sustain such extraordinary hitting, Federer had a mental dip in the second set, dropping serve to love in the fourth game with three sloppy unforced errors.
Down 3-1, Federer all but surrendered the set with half-hearted returns as Nadal levelled the semi up.
But he hit back swiftly in the third set, breaking Nadal for the first time after winning the point of the match with a breathtaking backhand volley in the fourth game.
Continuing his relentless attacking onslaught, Federer forced Nadal into errors to break the Spaniard again in the fourth game of the fourth set to take a stranglehold on proceedings.
Federer ruefully blundered a chance to gain a match point on Nadal's serve at 3-5 when he unsuccessfully challenged a line call having hit a clean winner.
But the second seed held his nerve - and serve - amid unbearable tension in the next game to complete a memorable victory with a forehand winner on his fifth match point after three hours and two minutes.
"I'm exhausted. It was tough at the end. Rafa played some unbelievable shots to stay in the match," Federer said.
"The match a very high level and I enjoyed it. The crowd was amazing. Battles with Rafa are always very special.
"It was tough. I had spells where I really was serving very well. I thought probably the biggest points in the match went my way. It just thought it was a joy to play today."
Federer will be contesting an unprecedented 31st men's grand slam singles final with top seed Djokovic his 25th.
"Novak was supreme today," Federer said. "He played great against Bautista Agut, who had a great tournament.
"He's the defending champion. He showed why this week. He's been rock solid. Hopefully I can push him to the brink and beat him, but it's not going to difficult."