This semifinal comes with storylines that are working at cross-purposes. The simple version goes like this: Federer, at 34, is trying for a last hurrah; Raonic, 25, is trying for a first. Either way, it’s a big day for both of them. Raonic can only hope it goes better than the last time he faced Federer in a semifinal on Centre Court, in 2014. He came out tight, was broken early and never found his way into a match whose 6-4, 6-4, 6-4 scores made it sound a good deal closer than it was.

There’s no reason to believe we’ll see a straight-set repeat this time. In 2016, Raonic has reached his second major semifinal, at the Australian Open, where he led Andy Murray two sets to one before injuring his leg and losing in five. Raonic also recorded his second career win over Federer in Brisbane in January, 6-4, 6-4. This week at Wimbledon, the Canadian reached another milestone: His first comeback victory from two sets down, against David Goffin.

Federer, of course, also came back from the brink to beat Marin Cilic in three hours and 17 minutes in the quarterfinals. That should help Federer stay calm if he falls behind against Raonic, but returning to Centre Court 48 hours later won’t help his physical state if this turns into a marathon. Taken together, the signs from both players point to a breakthrough win for the younger generation over one of the Big 4. But those signs have pointed in that direction before.

Winner: Federer

We’ve seen plenty of Murray this fortnight; he’s never had to leave Centre Court. Berdych, not so much; he’s mostly labored on smaller show courts, and at times in near darkness. But Berdych is a fomer Wimbledon finalist, and as Murray mentioned yesterday, the Czech has wins over Federer and Novak Djokovic at this event. Berdych also has six wins over Murray (against eight losses), and he looked sharp in taking apart Lucas Pouille in the quarterfinals. Murray, meanwhile, was something less than sharp for much of his five-set win over Jo-Wilfried Tsonga. But the fact that Murray still managed his game well enough to survive Jo's hot streaks, and run away with the fifth set, makes me think that form isn’t going to matter in this match. Murray, with a second Wimbledon title in his reach, won’t let himself lose at home.

Winner: Murray