Roger Federer was the major casualty on men's quarter-final day as he tumbled to a five-set defeat against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.
The match, which became a sensational Centre Court contest, began with third seed Federer easing through the first set and then taking a one-sided tie-break in the second.
But French 12th seed Tsonga claimed an early break in the third set, and with Federer finding his opponent's serve impenetrable, that led to a 3-6, 6-7 (7/3), 6-4, 6-4, 6-4 triumph.
"I thought I played a good match myself. I'm actually pretty pleased with my performance," Federer said. "It's hard going out of the tournament that way, but unfortunately it does happen sometimes.
"At least it took a special performance to beat me, which is somewhat nice. I think he played an amazing match. He didn't give me many chances."
Tsonga celebrated with a dance across the court, and said: "It was amazing. I played unbelievable. To come from two sets down – that's crazy. He is the biggest champion in my sport. He's achieved lots of things and he's the best player in the world.
"I'm so happy to win against him, especially on grass because it's maybe his favourite surface."
Federer's defeat ended the prospect of the top four seeds reaching the semi-finals of back-to-back Grand Slams.
It happened at the recent French Open, but has never occurred in successive Slams during the modern era.
No.2 seed Novak Djokovic awaits Tsonga in the semi-finals tomorrow. The Serbian was not at his best against teenage Australian Bernard Tomic, but did enough to post a 6-2, 3-6, 6-3, 7-5 win.
Djokovic, with just one defeat to his name in 2011, was error-prone against his Australian practice partner, had his serve broken three times and needed a run of seven straight games spanning the third and fourth sets to gain control.
Looking ahead to the match against Tsonga, Djokovic said: "I really need to work on my game. I hope I can perform a bit better."
Maria is wary of new kids in town
Maria Sharapova stands out in the Wimbledon semi-final crowd as the only woman with a Grand Slam title – but she has no doubts about the credentials of her remaining rivals.
Today sees Sharapova take on Germany's Sabine Lisicki – in the tournament on a wild card – for a place in Saturday's final.
Before they take to Centre Court, the first finalist will be decided in the match between fourth seed Victoria Azarenka and eighth seed Petra Kvitova.
Sharapova, the fifth seed, won Wimbledon as a 17-year-old in 2004 and, seven years later, is the hot favourite for another Grand Slam title.
It would be her fourth, after the success at Wimbledon and further wins at the US Open and Australian Open, but it will require two strong performances to emerge as the pick of the semi-finalists.
"In one sense, they're coming up, because they're reaching the bigger stages of the Grand Slams and they're trying to win their first one as well," the 24-year-old Russian said.
"But I also feel it's not the first time I'm seeing them in the draw or seeing them at the tournament. It's not like they're 15 or 16 years old."
Lisicki, who, like Azarenka and Kvitova is just 21, was a Wimbledon quarter-finalist two years ago but her ranking fell away due to an ankle injury, which is why she required the wild card. A top-10 ranking beckons, though, and Sharapova knows she is a threat.
"She hits very hard," Sharapova said. "She has probably one of the hardest serves on the tour, and that's very beneficial. She's used that very well on the grass. So that will be challenging."