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Wimbledon injuries pile up as Alex de Minaur pulls out of Novak Djokovic clash

© Reuters
Novak Djokovic is through to the semi-finals of Wimbledon as quarter-final opponent Alex de Minaur pulls out due to a hip injury.

Seven-time Wimbledon champion Novak Djokovic has earned a bye to the 2024 semi-finals as Alex De Minaur has pulled out of their quarter-final with an injury.

The ninth seed was in evident discomfort straight after sealing his fourth-round win over Frenchman Arthur Fils, slowly trudging to his chair amid concerned looks from his box.

De Minaur gave his team - including girlfriend and British number one Katie Boulter - a worried look and shake of the head, but he played down the issue in his on-court interview and press conference.

The Australian confirmed that he had jarred his hip and felt "ginger" all over, but he expressed confidence that he would make a full recovery in time to face Djokovic in Wednesday's quarter-final.

However, mere hours before he was due to step onto the court against the Serbian, De Minaur confirmed in a press conference that his injury was worse than first feared, and he would be forced to withdraw from the tournament.

A "devastated" De Minaur revealed that he had sustained a small tear of the fibre cartilage in his hip, and following scans, he would be at a major risk of exacerbating the problem if he played in the quarter-final.

 Novak Djokovic reacts at Wimbledon on July 2, 2024© Reuters

"Obviously not an announcement I wanted to make by any means. 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," 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 confirmed that this was the injury and with a high risk of making it worse if I was to step on court.

Asked how long his recovery could take, De Minaur said: "It's such a unique injury, it's based on pain. Right now it can be anywhere from three to six weeks, it just depends on how quickly my body heals."

What next for Djokovic after De Minaur withdrawal?

De Minaur's hip problem is the latest in a long line of crushing injuries at Wimbledon this year, as all of Hubert Hurkacz, Grigor Dimitrov, Madison Keys and Anna Kalinskaya have also had to pull out since the tournament began.

With the ninth seed pulling out, Djokovic has earned a walkover win into the semi-finals and will now compete in the last four of Wimbledon for the 13th time, equalling the all-time men's Open Era record set by Roger Federer.

The 37-year-old will face the winner of Wednesday's clash between Lorenzo Musetti and Taylor Fritz for the right to advance to the final, where either Carlos Alcaraz or Daniil Medvedev will be waiting.

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Novak Djokovic reacts at Wimbledon on July 8, 2024
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