Novak Djokovic in Wimbledon semis after Alex de Minaur WDs

League: Tennis

Posted on: 10 Jul, 2024 at 06:27 PM

Credit: Susan Mullane-USA TODAY Sports

Novak Djokovic advanced to his record-tying 13th semifinal Wimbledon after Australia's Alex de Minaur withdrew due to a hip injury on Wednesday.

Scheduled to face Djokovic in the quarterfinals, de Minaur admitted that he injured his hip in the closing stages of his 6-2, 6-4, 4-6, 6-3 win over Arthur Fils in the fourth round on Monday. After attempting to warm up for less than eight minutes early in the day, de Minaur notified Wimbledon officials and Djokovic's camp he would be unable to recover in time to challenge the second-seeded Djokovic.

"I'm devastated, but I had to pull out due to a hip injury, a little tear of the fiber cartilage that is at the end to the adductor," de Minaur said. "I felt a loud crack during the last three points of my match against Fils and got a scan yesterday and it confirms that this was the injury. (There is) a high risk of making it worse if I was to step on court."

With the walkover win, Djokovic is tied with Roger Federer for the most Wimbledon semifinal appearances by a man in tournament history.

The 37-year-old Serbian will square off Friday against No. 25 seed Lorenzo Musetti. The Italian outlasted No. 13 Taylor Fritz 3-6, 7-6 (5), 6-2, 3-6, 6-1 on Wednesday.

As for de Minaur, he said he was at peace with his decision despite the chance to defeat Djokovic for the second time this year.

"It's no secret that, at this stage of my career, this was the biggest match of my career. So wanted to do anything I could to play," he said. "I got the results yesterday. I knew what the results were yesterday. I still wanted to wake up today hoping that I would feel some sort of miracle and not feel it while I'm walking.

"The problem with me going out and playing is that one stretch, one slide, one anything, can make this injury (recovery) go from three to six weeks to four months. It's too much to risk."

Meanwhile, Musetti reached the final four at a Grand Slam for the first time with his victory over Fritz in 3 hours and 27 minutes. The 22-year-old is just the fourth Italian man to reach the semifinals at the All England Club, joining Jannik Sinner (2023), Matteo Berrettini (2021) and Nicola Pietrangeli (1960).

Musetti dominated the decisive fifth set, posting 11 winners and breaking Fritz's serve twice while also winning all seven of his points at the net.

"I don't think I've realised yet what I have done," Musetti said in his on-court interview. "I was talking with my team about how to play on the big stage. ... It was the first time I've had the opportunity to walk out on this amazing stadium and it's been an honor for me.

"At the start of the match Taylor was really leading the game, especially with his serve and I couldn't return well. In the second set I had a big reaction after breaking at the start and that changed my mind, my attitude. That probably made the difference and hopefully on Friday I will have the same one."

Musetti finished the match with 35 winners and 39 unforced errors, compared to 41 and 55 for Fritz.

--Field Level Media