Roger Federer will begin his quest to win his seventh Wimbledon title on Monday at 11 a.m. ET, but things are going to get really interesting when Fed-Ex meets Novak Djokovic in the 2012 Wimbledon semifinals.
The last five times the two stars have been pitted against each other have come in the semifinal round of tournaments. The last 20 times we've seen a Federer-Djokovic matchup, 16 have come in the semifinal round.
Neither player is a stranger to major tournament success, but Federer hasn't had much luck against the Serbian star lately. He's lost six-of-seven matches against the current world No. 1, but he'll have a better chance of pulling out a win at the All England Club.
Federer should consider himself lucky after receiving a fortunate draw in the upcoming tournament.
His first draw is against Albert Ramos who has lost five consecutive singles matches and boasts a sub-.500 record for his career. Federer's second match will come against either Fabio Fognini or Michael Llodra. Fognini finds himself with a losing record just like Ramos, and Llodra is more suited for doubles play.
These aren't the matchups that anyone is particularly interested in, though. Tennis fans are looking forward to the imminent battle between Federer and Djokovic.
Djokovic doesn't have to run the gauntlet to get to the semifinals either, but there are few players in the world who have the talent to make Djoker sweat it out. Federer is one of those players, and his relatively easy draw will keep him fresh against Djokovic's younger legs.
Federer's toughest matchup of the tournament prior to his prospective meeting against Djokovic will come in the quarterfinals against Janko Tipsarevic. If Tipsarevic is able to make it that far, he will be up against a man he has never beaten.
The Swiss star has won all four matches the two have played, surrendering just two sets total.
Djokovic has a possible matchup in the quarterfinals that is similar to Federer's. His comes against Tomas Berdych, a player who he has had success against in the past. The only difference between this matchup and the Federer-Tipsarevic tilt is that Berdych has notched a win over Djoker in the past, a straight-set victory at Wimbledon in 2010.
Both Federer and Djokovic have as easy draws as they could hope for, but it means more to Federer. He's at the back end of his career and needs to save all the energy that he can for a possible matchup against Djokovic. At 30 years old, he's not the same player he used to be, but he's obviously a formidable opponent.
If Federer had to play more opponents of high quality, we might have seen somewhat of a burnout from the former world No. 1. That is not the case, though.
This isn't to say that Federer will be able to get passed Djokovic in the semifinal, but it certainly gives him a much better chance.