Quantcast
Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
Milos Raonic of Canada plays a return to Nick Kyrgios of Australia during their men's singles quarterfinal match at the All England Lawn Tennis Championships in Wimbledon, London, Wednesday, July 2, 2014. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis)
5 things at Wimbledon: Newcomers vs. half of Big 4

Tennis » Federer, Djokovic opponents are new to semis.

By HOWARD FENDRICH

The Associated Press

First Published Jul 03 2014 08:04 am • Last Updated Jul 03 2014 10:50 pm

London • At 35 of the past 37 Grand Slam tournaments, a member of tennis’ so-called "Big 4" — Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray — won the championship.

The quartet’s dominance is even more pronounced at Wimbledon: They’ve collected the last 11 titles, seven for Federer.

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

For nine years in a row, at least two members of that group participated in the All England Club semifinals, a streak that continues Friday, when the No. 1-seeded Djokovic faces No. 11 Grigor Dimitrov, and No. 4 Federer meets No. 8 Milos Raonic.

The contrast in experience and accomplishments is striking.

Federer, 32, owns 17 major titles and will be playing in his 35th career Slam semifinal.

Djokovic, 27, has won six majors. This is his 23rd such semifinal.

Raonic and Dimitrov are both 23 and making their debuts at this stage of a major.

"You can’t really outrun time, in one way. New guys got to come up and they’ve got to step up. We’ve been doing better and better, especially throughout this year," Raonic said about the prospect of a transition at the top of the sport.

"It’s good to be a part of it," he continued. "It’s nice to see that sort of human side to those four guys."

Here are some things to watch Friday at Wimbledon in the men’s semifinals:


story continues below
story continues below

Federer • A year after exiting in the second round while bothered by a bad back, Federer is again playing dominating grass-court tennis. Since winning his first Grand Slam title at Wimbledon in 2003, though, Federer has never gone this long without reaching a major final — it’s been two years since he won at the All England Club in 2012.

Djokovic • He’s lost in the title match at three of the past four Grand Slam tournaments — against Murray at Wimbledon and against Nadal at the U.S. Open last year, and against Nadal at the French Open last month. After working for years to break through the Federer-Nadal duo, now Djokovic is part of the elite, trying to hold off the new challengers. "We have these youngsters coming up, fearless on the court, hitting the ball, not caring who is across the net," Djokovic said. "It’s good. It gets more attention to new faces and to [a] new wave."

Dimitrov • Greatness has been expected of him for years, and he long ago was given the nickname "Baby Fed," as in Federer, because of a similar all-court style and a smooth, one-handed backhand. Dimitrov is the only man who’s won titles on grass, hard and clay courts in 2014. "He moves well; he’s a very good athlete; he has variety in his game, which helps him play on all of the surfaces," Murray said after his straight-set quarterfinal loss to Dimitrov. "He’s a talented guy."

Raonic • At 6-foot-5 (1.96 meters), he delivers one of the most feared serves in tennis. "It keeps him in the match," Federer said. Raonic lost in the second round in each of his first three trips to Wimbledon but now is the first Canadian man in 106 years to get to the tournament’s semifinals.

Matchups • Djokovic is 3-1 against Dimitrov. Both are terrific movers and retrievers, which should make for lengthy exchanges. The points should be shorter in the other semifinal. Federer is 4-0 against Raonic, but the kid did not sound intimidated in the least, saying: "I’m not playing the seven-time Wimbledon champion. I’m not playing a 32-year-old man. I’m not playing a father of two sets of twins — which is a very low possibility, I bet, to do. I’m not playing the guy that’s won whatever he’s won, which I could probably list quite vividly. I’m playing a guy that is standing in my way of what I want to achieve."



Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment


About Reader Comments


Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Videos
Jobs
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Access your e-Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.