The 2014 Wimbledon men's semi-finals could signal a changing of the guard in tennis as two young upstarts take on two of the most dominant players in the world for the right to make history as a Wimbledon finalist.
Young Canadian Milos Raonic will take on the Swiss legend Roger Federer in one semi-final matchup, while Grigor Dimitrov—fresh off upsetting local favorite Andy Murray—takes on Novak Djokovic.
There should be no excuse for missing a single serve or set of these sensational semi-finals, so here is the television and live stream information so you can catch all the action at the All England Club.
Live Stream: WatchESPN
Roger Federer vs. Milos Raonic
This match is an interesting contrast between the impeccable smoothness of Federer's all-court game and the hammer that Raonic swings but disguises as a tennis racket.
Raonic leads all players with 147 aces at Wimbledon 2014, a skill he used to devastating effect against the young Nick Kyrgios in the quarter-finals. He smashed 39 aces over the four sets, with the fastest serve clocked at 134 miles per hour.
Federer is notoriously difficult to flummox and his return game has been excellent. He's won 101 points returning the first serve in this tournament, although he notes that a blistering serve on the worn-down Wimbledon grass could be a problem.
"Clearly on the grass with a serve like that it’s never going to be an easy match,” Federer said, via The Guardian's Simon Cambers. “That’s where you 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."
Federer also did well to cut down on his mistakes in his quarter-final match against Stan Wawrinka, notching just 14 unforced errors total. The enviable Swiss maestro has never lost when reaching the semi-finals of Wimbledon, giving him a distinct edge in the experience department over the 23-year-old Raonic.
He's also 4-0 against young Raonic, although the last time they played was at the Australian Open in January 2013. Federer should be wary of a markedly different set of skills emanating from the rapidly improving Raonic.
If Federer can withstand the pounding on serves and force Raonic into long rallies, he should be able to tire out the burly Canadian, who is still working on his agility and movement in all areas of the court.
Novak Djokovic vs. Grigor Dimitrov
This matchup will prove to be an exciting contest between two of the more athletic players in tennis.
L'equipe's Carole Bouchard reiterated the new-versus-old aura of the semi-finals contests:
Dimitrov is making his first semi-final appearance at Wimbledon, while Djokovic is looking for his second Wimbledon victory and seventh Grand Slam title overall. The young Bulgarian noted that he is desperate to prove himself in this contest.
"As one of the younger guys, I know that we strive for this, we’re hungry for it. We want to prove ourselves, to show to the big guys that we’re just around the corner," said Dimitrov, via The Telegraph's Oliver Brown.
Some might see Dimitrov as a bit lucky to go through considering Murray beat himself up for the most of the match.
The defending champion hit 37 unforced errors in the three-set beatdown and won just 31 percent of his second-serve points. This isn't to say Dimitrov didn't deserve the victory, but he will have to be ready for a much fiercer opponent in Djokovic.
Djokovic won 71 percent of his points on his first serve against Marin Cilic in the quarterfinals. His defensive game along with his ability to play out the string on long rallies and wait for opportunities makes him a tough opponent to breakdown.
ESPN Tennis noted Djokovic's game really started to come together in his fifth set against Cilic:
Djokovic has the experience and competitive drive to win this one and he knows not to overlook any opponent. However, Dimitrov's play has gotten stronger as the tournament has gone on and he could be ready to make his big breakthrough in this competition.
All match statistics courtesy of Wimbledon.com unless otherwise noted.
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