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Preview: Alex de Minaur vs. Novak Djokovic - prediction, head-to-head, tournament so far

Sports Mole previews Wednesday's Wimbledon quarter-final match between Alex de Minaur and Novak Djokovic, including predictions, head-to-head and their tournament so far.

Alex de Minaur's bid for a first-ever Grand Slam semi-final meets the uphill test against seven-time champion Novak Djokovic.

The Serbian superstar caused a stir with his spicy on-court interview after making light work of Holger Rune in the previous round to make a 15th quarter-final at the Championships, and the 24-time Slam champion bids to make his 13th semi-final at SW19.

Match preview

Alex de Minaur pictured at Wimbledon on July 8, 2024© Reuters

Despite his hip injury scare after "a physical match" in the fourth round, De Minaur has truly barely broken a sweat en route to a first Wimbledon quarter-final, having come through the opening two rounds in straight sets, had a walkover in the third and triumphed against Frenchman Arthur Fils in four last time out.

The 25-year-old had never made the last eight at the All England Club before this year, with 2022's fourth-round run sandwiched between a first-round elimination and round-two exit.

Monday's triumph over Fils means De Minaur becomes the third Australian after Lleyton Hewitt and Patrick Rafter to advance to the quarter-finals of Slams on all three surfaces, following the world No. 9's US Open run in 2020 and this year's French Open.

Having made the last eight in consecutive majors in a matter of weeks, to follow his fourth-round run Down Under in January, he hopes to kick on and make a semi-final debut.

However, De Minaur must overcome arguably the greatest tennis player of all time to reach a new high on Wednesday.

Novak Djokovic reacts at Wimbledon on July 6, 2024© Reuters

Many observers tipped Rune to push Djokovic in the fourth round — and the Serb's 3-2 advantage in the head-to-head pointed to a possible banana skin — but the No. 2 seed dispatched his opponent 6-3, 6-4, 6-2 to win his fourth match against the 21-year-old.

The seven-time champion's forthright post-match remarks may not have endeared him to anyone at SW19, but the single-minded 24-time Grand Slam champion will be unmoved by negative reactions as he continues a bid to reclaim the title lost last year to Carlos Alcaraz.

While this year has not been the 37-year-old's finest by his lofty standards, as he remains without a trophy at the mid-way point of the season, the Serb remains a favourite to make another semi-final against Taylor Fritz or Lorenzo Musetti and a possible final against Alcaraz or Daniil Medvedev.

To have made it this far is to the world No. 2's credit, despite doubts about his Wimbledon participation after sustaining a knee injury at the French Open that required surgery.

Having hitherto made the most of being on the kinder side of the draw, Djokovic seeks another semi-final on the lawns of Wimbledon by defeating his Australian opponent.

Tournament so far

Alex de Minaur:

First round: vs. James Duckworth 7-6[1] 7-6 [3] 7-6[4]
Second round: vs. Jaume Munar 6-2 6-2 7-5
Third round: vs. Lucas Pouille walkover
Round of 16: vs. Arthur Fils 6-2 6-4 4-6 6-3

Novak Djokovic:

First round: vs. Vit Kopriva 6-1 6-2 6-2
Second round: vs. Jacob Fearnley 6-3 6-4 5-7 7-5
Third round: vs. Alexei Popyrin 4-6 6-3 6-4 7-6[3]
Round of 16: vs. Holger Rune 6-3 6-4 6-2

Head To Head

Australian Open (2023) - Round of 16: Djokovic 6-2 6-1 6-2

United Cup (2024) - Quarter-final: De Minaur 6-4 6-4

Monte-Carlo Masters (2024) - Quarter-final: Djokovic 7-5 6-4

Djokovic leads the head-to-head between both players having clinched two victories to the Australian's one.

The pair's only Grand Slam match-up came Down Under last year, with the Serbian securing a comfortable win in the fourth round.

While both encounters in 2024 have been split, the Serbian is the favourite to extend his 2-1 lead over the 25-year-old Australian in their first meeting on grass.

SM words green background

We say: Djokovic to win in four sets

Even though De Minaur seeks to reach a Grand Slam semi-final at the fourth time of asking, a shock victory over the seven-time champion is an unlikely outcome, with Djokovic's eyes lighting up at the prospect of facing a first-time semi-finalist in Fritz or Musetti in the semis.

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Novak Djokovic reacts at Wimbledon on July 8, 2024
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