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Preview: Federer, Raonic Ready For Big-Serving Wimbledon Clash

Wimbledon, Great Britain

Federer© AFP/Getty ImagesRoger Federer is aiming to reach his 25th Grand Slam championship final.

[4] Roger Federer (SUI) vs. [8] Milos Raonic (CAN)
FedEx ATP Head2Head: Federer leads 4-0

Roger Federer may not have lost to Milos Raonic, but their 2012 Gerry Weber Open clash on the grass-courts in Halle was a tense affair. Federer withstood 25 aces to win 6-7(4), 6-4, 7-6(3) in just under two hours. "I've played him in some interesting places like Halle where we basically didn't have any rallies whatsoever," said Federer.

Raonic admitted, "I've played him I believe four times now. He's gotten the better of me all four times. But I haven't played him I think in more than a year. So I think I'm a different player. I've got in close with him in the past and I've found a lot of those things I can sort of pull away that give me a lot of belief that I can do this. There's no point to talk about it. I've got to step up and do it."

Raonic is bidding to reach his first Grand Slam championship final with victory in his first major semi-final. Federer, in contrast, is hoping to advance to his 25th final and ninth Wimbledon title match.

Read Feature: Raonic - The Quest For Perfection

"I'm going to step out there and I'm not playing the seven-time Wimbledon champion," said Raonic. "I'm not playing a 32-year-old man. I'm not playing father of two sets of twins. 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 and I've got to focus on… how best to deal with it, to give myself the best possibilities to achieve what I want."

Federer has lifted seven Wimbledon trophies and 17 major crowns overall. Should he beat Raonic, who is bidding to earn the 150th match win of his career, Federer would rise to No. 3 in the Emirates ATP Rankings.

RaonicTo reach the semi-finals at The Championships, Raonic has hit 147 aces to Federer's 63 aces. Importantly, Federer has won 99 per cent of his service games to Raonic's 98 per cent. "I think very highly of my serve," said Raonic. "I think very highly of his. But I've got to hope that my serve's better than his in that situation. I've got to hope that my serve can get me through a lot of difficult situations in whatever sort of rises up."

Federer said, "He's got a big serve. Clearly that's what is most visible when you see him play. That's the hardest to deal with, I guess. It keeps him in the match. It doesn't matter almost how he plays his return game. He's been serving very well for this entire tournament.

On the grass, with a serve like that it's never going to be an easy match. That's where you then 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."

Raonic is bidding to become the first non-European male finalist at Wimbledon since Andy Roddick in 2009 (l. to Federer). The last non-European man to reach a Grand Slam championship final was Juan Martin del Potro at the 2009 US Open (d. Federer).

Here's a look at the two semi-finalists at The Championships:

Statistcs courtesy: IBM

Federer   Raonic
63 Aces 147
4 Double Faults 6
45% Unreturned Serve 57%
67% 1st Serve % 68%
83% 1st Serve Points 88%
68% 2nd Serve Points 66%
1 Broken 2
12 Break Points Faced 9
74 Games Served 86
99% Service Games Held 98%
127mph Fastest Serve 141mph
74% Returns In Play 66%
33% 1st Return Points Won 29%
55% 2nd Return Points Won 47%
21 Breaks Of Serve 16
58 Break Points 36
36% Pct. Converted 44%
71 Return Games Played 83
29% Return Games Won % 19%
44 Forehand Winners 67
32 Forehand Unforced Errors 41
26 Backhand Winners 23
31 Backhand Unforced Errors 37
198 Winners 285
73 Unforced Errors 87
113of 160 Net Points Won 92 of 133
71% Net Points Won Pct. 69%
52% Baseline Points Won 45%
52 Games Lost 70
1 Sets Lost 2
8:35 Time On Court 9:55

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