Wimbledon forced into late change after Novak Djokovic’s opponent withdrew | Tennis | Sport

Wimbledon have confirmed a new change to the Centre Court schedule after Novak Djokovic‘s quarter-final with Alex De Minaur was cancelled, with the Aussie withdrawing due to injury.

The All England Club have announced that there will instead be two doubles matches on the main stage, as Brits Joe Salisbury and Heather Watson will take on Jan Zielinski and Su-Wei Hsieh in the mixed doubles competition, before former champion Ash Barty and doubles partner Casey Dellacqua face Andrea Petkovic and Magdelena Rybarikova in a legends exhibition match.

Ticket holders for Centre Court who had been planning to watch Djokovic take on a difficult opponent, after De Minaur overcame Arthur Fils in the fourth round only to injure himself on match point, may be left disappointed that they will only get the chance to watch one singles match on Wednesday.

Those planning to visit Centre Court would perhaps have expected another men’s singles match to be scheduled in place of Djokovic and De Minaur, after 2022 champion Elena Rybakina takes on Jelena Ostapenko, but they have been denied in favour of two doubles matches.

Taylor Fritz will take on Lorenzo Musetti on Court 1 during the afternoon session, which many had expected to be upgraded to Centre Court, but the All England Club have taken a different approach and put two sets of doubles matches on at the historic venue.

“Obviously not an announcement I wanted to make by any means,” De Minaur said in an emotional press conference. “I am devastated to pull out due to a hip injury, a little tear of the fibre cartilage that kind of is at the end of or connects to the adductor.

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

Shortly after De Minaur’s withdrawal, Djokovic was spotted on the practice court with Carlos Alcaraz, who he could meet in a repeat of last year’s final.

The pair could be seen joking together and last year’s runner-up will be buoyed by the news that he won’t have to play another match at SW19, just a few weeks after undergoing knee surgery.

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