LONDON -- One legend's quest to make Wimbledon history continues, while another's future at the venue has to be in doubt.
Soon enough, Djokovic righted himself, as he usually does, and beat Fucsovics 6-3, 6-4, 6-4 on a windy, overcast afternoon at Centre Court to reach his 10th semifinal at the All England Club and 41st at a major tournament.
Federer underwent two operations on his right knee in 2020 and was sidelined for more than 12 months in all. He arrived at Wimbledon having played a total of eight matches this season.
Factor in age -- Federer turns 40 on Aug. 8, so this was his last major in his 30s -- and maybe it was just too much to ask that he make his way to the closing weekend, even if this is a tournament he has won more than any other man, and even if it's contested on a surface, grass, on which he's best.
He simply never was able to summon the serving and shot-making that have carried him to 20 Grand Slam titles overall, tied with Rafael Nadal for the men's record. Federer said that he doesn't know if he's played his last match on Centre Court and that he needs to regroup.
"I need to take a few days," he said. "We'll take some time tonight, see how I feel, and then we'll see what I can do to get in better shape and more competitive. I'm happy I made it as far as I did here. Of course I'd like to play again, but at my age, you're never sure what's around the corner."
Hurkacz, a 24-year-old from Poland, never had made it beyond the third round at any major; that's when he lost to Djokovic at Wimbledon two years ago.
Still, Hurkacz looked quite comfortable on this unfamiliar stage. He played sublimely, with three times as many winners, 36, as unforced errors, 12.
In the opening set, he didn't face so much as a single break point and was guilty of just four unforced errors to Federer's 10.
It appeared Federer finally was beginning to make some headway early in the second set, earning a trio of break points and nosing ahead 2-0 on a double fault. After his second serve found the net, Hurkacz pointed an index finger at his temple, then shook his head.
Federer then weathered three break points in the next game to lead 3-0.
But Hurkacz conceded nothing. Undaunted by the setting, the stakes, the foe or the almost-uniformly-for-Federer fans, Hurkacz claimed four of the next five games to pull even at 4-all, breaking along the way with a stinging forehand return of a 101 mph serve that rushed Federer and drew a backhand into the net.
In the tiebreaker -- which was preceded by loud chants from the full-to-capacity stands of "Let's go, Roger! Let's go!" and rhythmic clapping -- it was more of the same: Hurkacz hitting his spots and Federer stumbling.
On one foray to the net, Federer lost his footing and, in the process of catching his balance, missed what could have been a simple volley.
The third set went by in a blink, and when it ended with Federer missing a forehand well wide, he quickly packed his bags and hustled off toward the locker room with a wave and a thumbs-up.
Federer hasn't lost in straight sets at Wimbledon since winning his first title at the famous venue. He had never lost a set 6-0 at Wimbledon.
After the match, Federer was asked about retirement.
"I knew it was going to be hard to be honest, but now I need to talk to the team, take time -- not feel rushed by you guys or anybody -- take time and work out the decision to take," he said. "I hope not, the goal is to play on."
Djokovic, 34, from Serbia, continues his pursuit of a sixth championship at Wimbledon -- and what would be a third in a row -- along with a 20th Grand Slam title overall, which would tie Federer's and Nadal's record.
Djokovic improved to 19-0 in matches at majors this season as he pursues the first calendar-year Grand Slam by a man since Rod Laver in 1969. He seized trophies on the Australian Open's hard courts in February and the French Open's red clay in June and now seeks to add one on Wimbledon's grass.
Djokovic -- who finished with more unforced errors, 30, than winners, 23 -- will face a first-time major semifinalist, No. 10 Denis Shapovalov of Canada, on Friday.
Shapovalov edged No. 25 Karen Khachanov of Russia 6-4, 3-6, 5-7, 6-1, 6-4 in nearly 3½ hours at No. 1 Court.
"Obviously, he's the best player in the world," Shapovalov said about the prospect of taking on Djokovic, "but I think anything is possible. And when you look at the scoreboard first thing on Friday ... it's going to be 0-0. So that's it. Nothing else matters."
The 2016 Wimbledon boys' champion compiled nearly twice as many winners as Khachanov, 59-31. That total included 17 aces for Shapovalov, which helped lessen the impact of his 10 double faults.
On the other side of the draw, Hurkacz will play No. 7 Matteo Berrettini, who beat No. 16 Felix Auger-Aliassime 6-3, 5-7, 7-5, 6-3 on No. 1 Court against a player he called "one of my best friends on tour."
Both players finished with more unforced errors than winners but Berrettini saved nine of the 12 break points he faced, compared to eight of 14 for Auger-Aliassime.
He is the second Italian man to ever make the last four at Wimbledon, after Nicola Pietrangeli in 1960. Berrettini also made the semis at the 2019 U.S. Open.
The 16th-seeded Auger-Aliassime, a 20-year-old from Canada, was trying to reach his first
Federer and Djokovic have won a combined 13 titles at Wimbledon and made 30 appearances in the quarterfinals.
None of the other six men left in the draw when Wednesday began had ever been to the quarterfinals at the All England Club, equaling a tournament record for the most debuts in the round of eight.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.