The 2014 Wimbledon Championships continue to be packed full of intensity and drama, but they have also been completely perplexing.
Eleven days ago, not many people would have predicted a clash between No. 13 Eugenie Bouchard and No. 6 Petra Kvitova for the ladies' final—but that's exactly how it has played out.
On Friday, we could see more potential surprises as No. 1 Novak Djokovic faces the surging Grigor Dimitrov and No. 4 Roger Federer squares off against Milos Raonic.
The favorites have been playing as expected of late. However, both Dimitrov and Raonic could come away with upset victories—especially taking into consideration how many we've already seen throughout the duration of the tournament.
So, will the higher seeds emerge victorious on Day 11, or will we see more improbable performances by the underdogs?
Tune in to find out.
Date: Friday, July 4
Event: Men's Semifinals
Time: 8 a.m. ET
Live Stream: WatchESPN
Order of Play: Wimbledon.com
Day 11 Preview
(1) Novak Djokovic vs. (11) Grigor Dmitrov
Dmitrov shocked the tennis world with his straight-set victory over defending champion Andy Murray.
During the match, the No. 11 seed showed some great movement behind the baseline, covering plenty of ground and keeping away from unforced errors. It seemed as though there was no place Murray could put the ball to gain a winner.
Part of Dmitrov's success is certainly due to his coach Roger Rasheed. Since joining forces, Dmitrov has looked incredibly sharp and spoke of his confidence during a press conference, via Michael Beattie of Wimbledon.com:
We all know how Novak is competing and how he's playing when he's at his top level. I'm of course not expecting an easy match. But I'm out there to go through a match, to win it. He has the experience and all that behind him, but in the same time, I've been playing great tennis. I believe in my skills at the moment.
Djokovic has played very well throughout the tournament, but he struggled slightly against Marin Cilic in their quarterfinal match, winning in five sets.
Tennis Now tweeted a pretty accurate summary of Djokovic's match:
He was up, he was down, he was down again, then he was up, up and up. Novak Djokovic advances past Marin Cilic, 6-1, 3-6, 6-7(4), 6-2, 6-2.— TennisNow (@Tennis_Now) July 2, 2014
The No. 1 seed was accurate and forced his large opponent around the court. However, he won't have such an advantage in that area against the mobile Dmitrov.
Still, Djokovic is highly experienced—a trait that will serve him very well in this situation. His experience shined against Cilic, and he spoke of it during a press conference, via Ron Atkin of Wimbledon.com:
I just held my composure when the match was going his way when he won the third set. But you rely on experience and that can decide these particular matches. I've been there and I've played five-setters. I was down and coming back. So I knew what I needed to do. Also I thought Marin got a bit tired physically. I looked at him and he wasn't moving as well any more. So I tried to move him from one corner to another, to mix up the pace.
(4) Roger Federer vs. (8) Milos Raonic
Federer has been arguably the most impressive player at Wimbledon.
Through his first four matches, he disposed of his opponents in straight sets on each occasion. In his quarterfinal clash with No. 5 Stan Wawrinka, Federer still managed to shine, surging back to win in four sets after dropping the first.
Federer's completely turned his game around after an injury-plagued 2013 campaign. He spoke of the thrill of competing in the semifinals at Wimbledon this year during a press conference, via Alix Ramsay of Wimbledon.com:
Last year was a major disappointment for me because I always see Wimbledon as one of my main goals of the season, side-by-side with rankings and some other highlights that I choose that there are for me. I try to be in the best possible shape, so last year was rough. I was very disappointed. [I] went back to the practice courts. [I] didn't have any options left at that point. So I'm happy that one year later I'm back in the semis and with a chance to go further.
Wimbledon tweeted exactly how experienced Federer is in Grand Slam semifinals:
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
If Federer is to go through, he must get past the hard-serving Raonic.
Raonic defeated the Rafael Nadal-slaying Nick Kyrgios in the quarterfinals, racking up 39 aces in the process. The Canadian has now accumulated an improbable 157 aces at Wimbledon this year.
The No. 8 seed may not be the most athletic player, and he may be a little inconsistent with rallies and returns, but his devastating serve always keeps him hanging around in his matches.
Federer summed up his upcoming opponent during a press conference, via Kate Battersby of Wimbledon.com:
Clearly what's most visible when you see him play is that he's got a big serve. It keeps him in the match. Doesn't matter almost how he plays his return game. I've played him where we basically didn't have any rallies whatsoever. So here I'll take care of my own serves and see what I can do on the return.
Will Federer's experience earn him the chance to obtain an eighth Wimbledon title, or will his plans be thwarted by Raonic's big serves?
We'll find out in short order.