Alex De Minaur withdraws from Wimbledon as Novak Djokovic helped out | Tennis | Sport

Alex De Minaur has been forced to pull out of his Wimbledon quarter-final with Novak Djokovic. The Australian ninth seed sustained a hip injury after his five-set win over Arthur Fils on Monday. And he has been ruled unfit to face the 24-time Grand Slam champion.

De Minaur hobbled over to Fils after winning 2-6, 4-6, 6-4, 3-6 to set up a Centre Court showdown with eight-time Wimbledon winner Djokovic. De Minaur said in his on-court interview he’d be fine to face Djokovic.

But sadly he will not get chance to avenge his Australian Open exit to the Serbian from last year. De Minaur conducted a press conference shortly after midday today (Wednesday) to confirm his withdrawal as a result of his “freak” injury.

He said: “Obviously not an announcement I wanted to make by any means. I’m devastated. I had to pull out due to hip injury – a little tear of the fibre cartilage that is at the end and connects to the abductor. I felt a loud crack during the last three points of my match against Fils.

“I got a scan yesterday and it confirmed this was the injury. I had high risk of making it worse if I was to step on court. I knew as soon as I felt that pop that something bad had happened.

“It’s been two days of worrying and waiting to see. In the grand scheme of things it could’ve been worse, I’m trying to hold on to that. It’s a freak injury. It is something that there are no signs of fatigue or problems beforehand, it happened on a freak movement.”

As a result, Djokovic advances through to the semi-finals without having to play. He will face either the American 13th seed Taylor Fritz or 25th-seeded Italian Lorenzo Musetti in the final four.

One of Daniil Medvedev, who has never made it past the semis, or Carlos Alcaraz, the reigning champion at SW19, await the winner in the final. Djokovic will be heavily fancied to win his semi-final after a mini mid-tournament break.

De Minaur added: “I gave myself a chance and warmed up as early as possible so I knew as early as possible what my decision was going to be.

“I didn’t see Novak at the courts, I saw his manager and I just let him know. I haven’t seen Novak yet. It is no secret that at this stage of my career, it was the biggest match of my career. I wanted to do anything I could.

“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 that one stretch, one slide, one anything can make this injury go from three-to-six weeks to four months.

“So, it is too much, too risky. It’s devastating, I’m not going to beat around the bush.”

The world No.9 had said earlier this week after his match against Fils that he “jarred it” after sliding out for a forehand. He had hoped to wake up and feel better the next day.

De Minaur is the boyfriend of British tennis No.1 Katie Boulter who went out in the second round at the All England Club. And he was expected to be strongly supported on Centre Court.

Even more so after Djokovic vented his frustrations towards the crowd on Wimbledon‘s main showcourt shortly after defeating Holger Rune on Monday night. The Serb believed he was being booed by spectators who were shouting “Ruuuuuune!”

He said: “And to all those people that have chosen to disrespect the player, in this case me, have a goooood night. They were [disrespecting me], they were, they were. I don’t accept it. No, no, no.

“I know they were cheering for Rune but that’s an excuse also to boo. Listen, I’ve been on the tour for more than 20 years so I know all the tricks, I know how it works. It’s fine, it’s okay.

“There’s some respectful people who paid for a ticket to come and watch tonight and they love tennis and appreciate the players.”

The world No.2 was similarly riled up in an interview he did with the BBC which he stormed out of. Even then, half-an-hour after the match, Djokovic still refused to accept that fans were simply cheering for Rune.

And after a third question about the atmosphere, an agitated Djokovic said: “Do you have any questions other than the crowd? I mean are you focused only on that or any questions about the match, or something like that?

“Or is it solely focused on that? This is the third question already, I said what I have to say, maybe we can speak about something else.”

Asked about De Minaur, the 37-year-old replied: “Yeah I look forward to it, it’s going to be a tough one…” He then stood up and walked out as the presenter sought to ask a question about the backing the Aussie would receive.

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