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Men’s Tennis De Minaur withdrawal hands Djokovic another Wimbledon semi-final spot

ALEX DE MINAUR was forced to withdraw from Wimbledon today before his quarter-final with Novak Djokovic due to a hip injury.

De Minaur sustained the issue at the end of his fourth-round victory over Arthur Fils on Monday.

The ninth seed played down the scare despite an initial shake of the head in the direction of his box on Court One, but shortly after midday before his scheduled Centre Court clash with Djokovic, De Minaur pulled out of the Championships.

“Obviously not an announcement I wanted to make by any means,” De Minaur said at a press conference yesterday afternoon.

“Yeah, I’m devastated but had to pull out due to a hip injury.

“I felt a loud crack during the last three points of my match against Fils and got a scan yesterday. It confirmed this was the injury and with high risk of making it worse if I was to step on court.

“It is no secret that at this stage of my career, it was the biggest match of my career.

“I knew the results yesterday but hoped I would wake up today and feel some sort of miracle.

“The problem with me going out and playing is one stretch, one slide, one anything can make this injury go from three-to-six weeks to four months.”

De Minaur played down suggestions the state of the Court One surface had been a factor, after Carlos Alcaraz admitted to not being comfortable on the venue on Tuesday.

He added: “I think this injury is more of a freak injury, it is an excessive amount of force made to slide on a grass court.

“I only did this because at the time it was match point and I went for it with a slide that was probably a little more than normal.

“It is something that there are no signs of fatigue or problems beforehand, it happened on a freak movement.”

The Australian told Novak Djokovic’s team of his decision after he attempted to practice at Aorangi Park this morning.

“My plan always from the start was if I didn’t feel great yesterday, I knew I needed a miracle this morning,” De Minaur said.

“I wanted to make sure when I did warm up to give myself a chance, I gave myself a chance to know as early as possible. I didn’t see Novak at the courts but I saw his manager and let him know.

“I am playing these tournaments and I’m in the deep end of them. That’s why it hurts, I feel close. I feel closer than every before.”

Djokovic is through to a record-equalling 13th Wimbledon semi-final as he looks to win an eighth title in SW19.

Meanwhile, British tennis player Marcus Willis was on a charge again at Wimbledon eight years after facing Roger Federer on Centre Court.

The 33-year-old briefly became the biggest story of the Championships when he qualified for the main draw in 2016 and won his first-round match to set up the date with Federer.

A stunning lob was the highlight of a straight-sets defeat and Willis soon slipped off the radar and into retirement, but two years ago he returned to the sport in doubles and is back at the All England Club for the first time since 2017.

This time Willis’s exploits have come in mixed doubles, where he has teamed up with Alicia Barnett to reach the quarter-finals, with the pair beating Americans Katie Volynets and Rajeev Ram 2-6 6-3 (11/9) today.

There is guaranteed to be a British player in the men’s doubles final after Neal Skupski and Henry Patten both claimed victories with their respective partners to set up a meeting.

Skupski won the title last year with Dutchman Wesley Koolhof and is thriving on grass again alongside New Zealander Michael Venus, who usually plays with Jamie Murray.

In the men’s wheelchair singles, Alfie Hewett began his latest quest to complete his career Grand Slam by beating compatriot Ben Bartram 6-1 6-4 but Gordon Reid lost 6-4 6-4 to third seed Gustavo Fernandez.


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