Back came Querrey with some stinging forehands that had Cilic on the back foot, and the Croatian placed a backhand into the net to slip a break behind.
Federer is in a class of his own and having not played more than three sets in a match so far after all that time off will be more than equiped to go the distance if needed. "You just want to take that decision early enough or see it coming and anticipate".
The Serb called for a medical timeout after the first set to have his right elbow massaged by a physio.
"Quite honestly, I think I was in just as much of a shot of winning this tournament here". I feel like they will have their say in the outcome of the matches.
"It's been a fun run", the 29-year-old who hails from California said in typically understated fashion.
The 24th-seeded American, who knocked out 2015 champion Djokovic 12 months ago, proved that was no fluke by downing defending champion Murray in the quarter-finals on Wednesday. Also with the returning, to be a little more aggressive there. One such, punctuated by a 134mph ace, took it to another tie-break.
At 35 years and 342 days Federer will be the second oldest man in the Open era to reach the final here after Ken Rosewall, who was runner-up in 1974 at 39 years and 246 days. How do you think he mentally kept that stat out of his mind?
Berdych sensed an opportunity in the third when he had two break points in game six, but Federer nailed three aces from his next four serves to snuff out the danger. He was controlling the game pretty well.
Murray won praise after correcting a journalist who said Sam Querrey was 'the first US player to reach a major semi-final since 2009'.
"Marin's a great guy, I know him really well", Federer said. It probably just got worse and worse as the tournament went on. Is that something you're working on with him?
Murray, meanwhile, has been dealing with that hip.
"Now that I made the quarters last year and the semis here, I'm feeling confident". He didn't seem to have many holes.
But, not for the first time in this tournament, dug deep to break straight back to briefly stall Cilic's progress.
So is No. 4 Nadal, a two-time champion who lost in the fourth round. Eleven finals here, all these records, it's great. "Obviously, the end was a bit of a struggle".
'Today was a hard-fought battle, Sam played hard tennis especially in the first set, serving big and hitting big from the back.
Konta's hopes of becoming Britain's first female singles champion at SW19 in 40 years were dashed as Williams stormed to a 6-4 6-2 victory. "You can't take that for granted", Cilic said.