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Youngsters look to spoil a marquee men's Wimbledon final

SportsTennisMilos RaonicWimbledon ChampionshipsRoger FedererNovak DjokovicAndy Murray
Novak Djokovic will face Grigor Dimitrov and Roger Federer takes on Milos Raonic in semifinals
Djokovic and Federer have 23 combined Grand Slam titles to none for their opponents

— The new kids on the block are not a boy band here, but a threat to the usual order of things at Wimbledon.

The men's semifinals are Friday, and two of the four players left are marquee upon which tennis thrives. They are Novak Djokovic of Serbia, seeded No. 1, and Roger Federer of Switzerland, seeded No. 4. They have millions of fans and create large TV ratings.

Between them, they have won 23 major titles and have won Wimbledon eight times. Federer, who has won here seven times, has a record 17 major titles.

They have been here and done this so long that they are on a first-name basis with half the Royal Box.

But then there are the new kids, who are also really good.

Djokovic, a ripe old 27, will play Grigor Dimitrov, 23, of Bulgaria, who turned this tournament on its ear when he sent out favorite British son Andy Murray in straight sets in a quarterfinal. Dimitrov, seeded 11th, has never been to a Grand Slam semifinal before. The way he handled Murray, it looked as if he will get to plenty of them.

Federer, not only 32 but also the father of four — two sets of twins — will play Milos Raonic of Canada.

Raonic, 23, seeded No. 8, beat the player who beat the man, Rafael Nadal. That was 19-year-old Nick Kyrgios of Australia, who succumbed to the wiles of Raonic the next day.

Were Dimitrov to beat Djokovic, he would deprive the Serbian star of his third spot in a Wimbledon final, including last year, when he lost to Murray. Djokovic has won six Grand Slam titles, but he has also lost six major finals.

Were Raonic to take out Federer, he would deprive the Swiss master of a shot at a record eighth Wimbledon championship. He won his most recent Grand Slam title here in 2012. Right now, his seven Wimbledon titles are the record, shared by William Renshaw, who set the mark in 1889, and Pete Sampras.

Like Dimitrov, Raonic is making his deepest Grand Slam advance.

If Dimitrov and Raonic win — and TV executives start jumping out of fifth-floor windows — it would mark the youngest Wimbledon final since 2006, when Federer, then 24, and Nadal, 20, played.

Going into the semis, Federer is the winningest of the four this year, having won 39 matches. Dimitrov and Djokovic have 35 each and Raonic has 24.

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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SportsTennisMilos RaonicWimbledon ChampionshipsRoger FedererNovak DjokovicAndy Murray
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