Novak Djokovic believes his flair for the dramatic at Grand Slams will prove crucial when it comes to Sunday's Wimbledon final after he battled past Juan Martin del Potro in a record-setting semi-final on Friday.
The world number one clinched an epic 7-5, 4-6, 7-6 (7/2), 6-7 (6/8), 6-3 win over the Argentine in the longest Wimbledon semi-final in history to move into his 11th Grand Slam title match.
Over four hours and 43 minutes, Djokovic squandered two match points in the fourth set tiebreak before going on to seal a final clash against either British second seed Andy Murray, the runner-up last year, or Polish 24th seeded Jerzy Janowicz.
The top-seeded Serb, bidding for a seventh Grand Slam crown, fired 22 aces and 80 winners against the luckless Del Potro, the 2009 US Open champion.
Friday's win represented the seventh time in the his last eight majors that he has taken centre stage in a marathon five-set match.
At the French Open semi-final last month, he lost in five sets to Rafael Nadal while also being pushed all the way by Stanislas Wawrinka in the fourth round at the Australian Open.
He played a five-set final in defeat to Andy Murray in New York last year, two marathons at Roland Garros against Andreas Seppi and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga after starting 2012 with his record 5hr 53min final triumph over Nadal in Australia.
His sequence began at the 2011 US Open in his semi-final win over Roger Federer.
"I've had some epic matches in my career and some long five setters. Especially the one that stands out is the final with Nadal at the Australian Open last year. It went for six hours," said Djokovic.
"But I have the experience of playing long matches, and I know that I have been pushed to the limit today, as my opponent was also.
"It was one of the most thrilling matches that I have ever played, especially here in Wimbledon."
Djokovic said he was disappointed that he hadn't settled the match with Del Potro in the fourth set when he had match points.
"I lost a long match in French Open just a few weeks ago. You can't win all the matches," added Djokovic.
"But I know that when we get to the fifth set, when I play a top player at the later stages of a major event especially, this is where your physical strength but also mental ability to stay tough can decide the winner of that match.
"So, yes, I was disappointed that I didn't finish the match before in fourth set. But knowing that I have a chance, more chance of staying longer in the rally with him, and just as the match goes on I felt like physically I'm fit and I can go a long way."
Djokovic has now defeated Del Potro nine times in 12 matches, but the big Argentine said he had played his best match on a grass court.
"I was so close. I played really good tennis for four and a half hours but he hits the ball so hard. I am sad because I lost," said Del Potro.
"It was just a couple of points, it was my best tennis on grass but against the world number one it's not enough.
"Novak runs like he's playing on a clay court or hard court. Always the ball comes back. He deserved to win."
The 24-year-old said he had also enjoyed the experience of playing a close friend and the two men embraced warmly at the end.
"First I will like to recover myself, then I wish the best to Nole. He's a good guy, a good friend of mine," he added.