LONDON -- If you were feeling adventurous before Wednesday's quarterfinals, you might have considered putting a few quid on a French long shot named Richard Gasquet.
He was the No. 21 seed at the All England Club, but was fetching 40-to-1 odds to win the tournament. That's because former champions Novak Djokovic (6-to-5), Andy Murray (2-to-1) and Roger Federer (9-to-2) were viewed as the most likely to succeed. Even this year's French Open winner, Stan Wawrinka, was a palatable 7-to-1.
Gasquet was an even better bet after he forced Wawrinka to a fifth set. Despite giving up a 5-3 edge in the deciding set, Gasquet regained his composure and prevailed with a 6-4, 6-4, 3-6, 6-4, 11-9 win. Gasquet last made the Wimbledon semifinals in 2007 at age 21, but failed to get past the fourth round in five more tries.
Now, he will face Djokovic in the semifinals on Friday, with the Serb holding a gaudy 11-1 head-to-head edge. Earlier in the day, Djokovic beat No. 9 Marin Cilic 6-4, 6-4, 6-4 to advance.
Here are our key takeaways from the top bracket's two quarterfinal matches:
1. A lucky 13-0: No one on the ATP World Tour is less happy to see Djokovic than Cilic. With Djokovic's straight-sets victory, he has now won 31 of 35 sets against the reigning US Open champion. It's an amazing number, considering they are both Grand Slam winners.
2. Battle of the beautiful backhands: The point of the Gasquet-Wawrinka match came in the final game. With Wawrinka serving, he fell into a 0-40 hole and actually saved two match points. On the third, his one-handed backhand failed him, sailing long. Gasquet fell to earth, celebrating his biggest win in nearly two years.
3. Pleading the fifth: Djokovic showed some staying power after playing two days in a row. On Tuesday, he prevailed in a five-set match against Kevin Anderson after dropping the first two sets the day before. Djokovic is now an impressive 14-6 in Grand Slam matches that follow a five-set win. Ironically, one of those losses came against Wawrinka in this year's French Open final, a defeat that came after Djokovic needed five sets to beat Murray in the semifinals.
4. Breaking bad: Both Gasquet and Wawrinka managed to create nine break-point opportunities, but Gasquet won one more (on the critical-mass point), for a 5-for-9 success rate.
5. Exalted company: Djokovic reached the 27th Grand Slam semifinal of his career, which puts him fourth among Open-era players, behind Federer (37), Jimmy Connors (31) and Ivan Lendl (28).