After two of the more exciting women’s semifinals matchups of the last several years, the focus has turned to the Day 11 schedule for the 2014 Wimbledon Championships and the men’s semifinals.
With No. 1 seed Novak Djokovic squaring off against No. 11 seed Grigor Dimitrov and No. 4 seed Roger Federer taking on No. 8 seed Milos Raonic on Friday, the anticipation surrounding the two marquee meetings has tennis fans on the edge of their seats.
Here is the full television schedule for Day 11 at the Wimbledon Championships and the top matches from the schedule for each of the men’s semifinals.
|July 4||8 a.m. - 2 p.m.||ESPN|
|Player 1||Player 2||Court||Predicted Winner|
|Novak Djokovic||vs.||Grigor Dimitrov||Centre||Djokovic, 6-4, 6-4, 6-2|
|Roger Federer||vs.||Milos Raonic||Centre||Federer, 6-4, 6-3, 1-6, 6-4|
*For the full schedule, check out Wimbledon.com.
Match of the Day: No. 4 Roger Federer vs. No. 8 Milos Raonic
The battle between Djokovic and Dimitrov is one of the most anticipated matchups of the tournament thus far, but the real show-stealer of the semifinals will be Federer testing his ability against the younger Raonic.
Raonic comes into this matchup at just 23 years old. While this may be his first career performance in a Grand Slam semifinal, he is coming off a deep run at the 2014 French Open that resulted in a quarterfinal elimination.
As TennisExplorer.com points out via Twitter, Raonic is breaking barriers for Canadian players:
Milos Raonic is the first Canadian man to reach the Wimbledon men's semifinals in 106 years— TennisExplorer.com (@TennisExplorer) July 3, 2014
With Federer sitting at 32 years old—he will be 33 in August—tennis insider Carole Bouchard points out that both semifinal matchups have the possibility of providing pass-the-torch moments:
Djokovic - Dimitrov and Federer - Raonic : kind of the "we're the bosses" vs "get outta here oldies" perfect scenario. Tough for Muzz though— Carole Bouchard (@carole_bouchard) July 2, 2014
Friday’s battle will be awfully tough for the younger player, but after cruising through the first three rounds and knocking off No. 10 seed Kei Nishikori and the man who defeated Rafael Nadal—Nick Kyrgios—Raonic has proven he deserves to be on this big stage.
As Wimbledon’s official Twitter account shared, though, this is not Federer’s first rodeo:
Roger Federer books his place in a 35th Grand Slam semi-final, seeing off compatriot Stan Wawrinka 3-6, 7-6, 6-4, 6-4 pic.twitter.com/3l2x9BS7zH— Wimbledon (@Wimbledon) July 2, 2014
After his quarterfinal victory over Stan Wawrinka, Federer told ATPWorldTour.com about the confidence level in his game and the matchup with Raonic:
I’m just really pleased that I’m back strong this year at Wimbledon. Last year was such a disappointment. I was very deflated leaving Wimbledon on that note. It’s good to be back in the semis. The prospect is very exciting.
Here clearly on the grass with a serve like that it's never going to be an easy match [against Raonic]. That's where you then sort of go back to your own game and say, 'I'll take care of my own serves and see what I can do on the return'. That's my mindset right now.
Before losing the first game against Wawrinka, Federer had gone through the first four rounds (including a dominant win over No. 23 seed Tommy Robredo) without dropping a single set to his competition.
Who ya got?
There is no questioning how well Raonic played this season and the momentum he is carrying into the semifinals, but Federer is a seven-time champion on the grass of Wimbledon and knows how to overcome any adversity thrown his way.
When the action gets intense Friday, Federer will deal with it better than Raonic.
Predicted Winner: Federer, 6-4, 6-3, 1-6, 6-4
*Stats via Wimbledon.com.