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Preview: Djokovic, Dimitrov Set For Wimbledon Semi-Final Battle

Wimbledon, Great Britain

Djokovic© Getty ImagesNovak Djokovic trained with his coach, Boris Becker, on an outside court at the All England Club on Thursday afternoon.

[1] Novak Djokovic (SRB) vs. [11] Grigor Dimitrov (BUL)
FedEx ATP Head2Head: Djokovic leads 3-1

A lot has changed since Novak Djokovic and Grigor Dimitrov last met at a Grand Slam championship. Thirteen months ago, Djokovic won their Roland Garros third round encounter 6-2, 6-2, 6-3.

Dimitrov will contest his first major semi-final on Friday on the back of a nine-match winning streak on grass courts. "The fact that he hasn't lost a match in the grass court season this year says enough about his quality," said Djokovic.

The 23-year-old Bulgarian has risen from No. 23 in the Emirates ATP Rankings at the start of 2014 and will break into the Top 10 for the first time on Monday as a result of his performances at The Championships. On Wednesday, he beat defending champion Andy Murray in the Wimbledon quarter-finals. "I'm sure many people look at him as a potential Grand Slam winner," said Djokovic. "Maybe here [or] maybe in the Grand Slams to follow."

This year, Dimitrov has also won three ATP World Tour titles on three different surfaces on the hard courts at the Abierto Mexicano Telcel (d. Anderson), on the clay of the BRD Nastase Tiriac Trophy (d. Rosol) and at the Aegon Championships grass (d. F. Lopez). "He has won tournaments on each surface this year. So it says enough about his quality on different surfaces [and] his ability to adjust to different surfaces. His game has improved a lot. He's getting more experience now playing on the big stage, which definitely is useful when you play in the big tournaments like this."

Djokovic is attempting to reach his third Wimbledon final and his 14th major title-match overall. The 2011 champion could reclaim No. 1 in the Emirates ATP Rankings from Rafael Nadal only if he lifts the trophy on Sunday. He last held top spot on 6 October 2013.

DimitrovDimitrov is wary of the Serbian's capabilities. "We all know how Novak is competing and how he's playing when he's at his top level," he said. "I'm of course not expecting an easy match. I know it's going to be a battle. I've just got to be really, really composed.

"I think we're both going to really want that match. Of course, he has the experience and all that behind him. But at the same time, I've been playing great tennis. I believe in my skills at the moment."

The last time Djokovic lost to a player ranked outside the Top 10 at a Grand Slam championship was No. 13 Tomas Berdych in the 2010 Wimbledon semi-finals.

Dimitrov is looking to reach the final on his fifth Wimbledon appearance. Pat Cash, Jim Courier, Roger Federer, Goran Ivanisevic and Pete Sampras all reached their first Wimbledon final on their fifth appearance at the All England Club.

Djokovic has won 94 per cent of his service games during The Championships, compared to Dimitrov's 96 per cent. Here's a closer look at the two semi-finalists:

Statistcs courtesy: IBM

Djokovic   Dimitrov
56 Aces 49
7 Double Faults 18
38% Unreturned Serve 39%
68% 1st Serve % 65%
78% 1st Serve Points 80%
57% 2nd Serve Points 59%
5 Broken 3
18 Break Points Faced 22
86 Games Served 80
94% Service Games Held 96%
126mph Fastest Serve 135mph
72% Returns In Play 69%
31% 1st Return Points Won 29%
54% 2nd Return Points Won 55%
24 Breaks Of Serve 21
64 Break Points 44
38% Pct. Converted 48%
83 Return Games Played 80
29% Return Games Won % 26%
45 Forehand Winners 59
44 Forehand Unforced Errors 42
49 Backhand Winners 27
48 Backhand Unforced Errors 38
195 Winners 187
104 Unforced Errors 101
105 of 139 Net Points Won 106 of 145
76% Net Points Won Pct. 73%
50% Baseline Points Won 51%
68 Games Lost 63
3 Sets Lost 2
12:07 Time On Court 10:19

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