Marin Cilic said he played "the best tennis" of his life during his win over Roger Federer at the US Open on Saturday.
The Croatian was simply too good for 17-time grand slam champion Federer, cruising to a 6-3 6-4 6-4 win on the back of 43 winners on Arthur Ashe Stadium.
In just his second grand slam semi-final, Cilic's consistent performance even surprised the Swiss superstar.
Cilic said it was a special display.
"Just for the performance today from, I mean, first point to the last I was absolutely playing the best tennis of my life," he said.
"Considering the huge occasion I was playing in, for the second time in a semi-finals of a grand slam, it just can't be more special.
"Considering also that, even I was a set up and break up, the crowd was rooting for Roger to come back. It wasn't easy to deal with that.
"But I felt that my serve helped me a lot to get some free points to breathe a little bit easier. It was working perfectly."
Cilic, often prone to inconsistent periods through matches, said he had grown in belief during a three-set loss to Federer in Toronto in August.
He said it was pure ball-striking from his end of the court.
"I felt that today I was hitting the ball extremely clean. I have some days where I am shanking a lot of balls, but today it was very pure from my end of the court," Cilic said.
"It was just like today when I'm playing aggressively, sort of for the guys it's difficult to open up the court.
"I'm trying to play a little faster and in different situations if the guy's doing that it's difficult to find some angles or open up the court.
"I feel with that I was covering the court even better."