Djokovic to meet Musetti in Wimbledon semi-final after injured De Minaur withdraws

Ninth seed De Minaur sustained a hip injury during his four set win over Arthur Fils in the fourth round

Alex de Minaur has pulled out of his Wimbledon quarter-final with Novak Djokovic due to injury. Photograph: Zac Goodwin/PA Wire

Australian Alex De Minaur pulled out of his Wimbledon quarter-final against second seed Novak Djokovic on Wednesday due to a hip injury, sending the Serbian into a record-equalling 13th semi-final at the grass court Grand Slam.

Ninth seed De Minaur sustained the injury in the closing stages of his 6-2 6-4 4-6 6-3 fourth-round win over Frenchman Arthur Fils on Monday.

"I'm devastated to pull out due to a hip injury, a little tear of the fibre cartilage that is at the end of or connects to the adductor," said De Minaur, who stunned Djokovic at the United Cup team tournament in the opening week of the season.

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

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The 25-year-old has reached two Grand Slam quarter-finals, losing to Dominic Thiem at the 2020 US Open and Alexander Zverev at this year’s French Open.

“I knew the results [of the scan] yesterday, but hoped I would wake up today and feel some sort of miracle,” added De Minaur, who is enjoying his best season on the tour having reached the top 10.

“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.”

The Australian is now in a race to be fit for the Olympics, where the tennis event begins at Roland Garros on July 27.

De Minaur’s withdrawal meant seven-time champion Djokovic equalled Roger Federer’s record of 13 appearances in the Wimbledon semi-finals.

Djokovic is also looking to match the Swiss maestro’s tally of eight titles at the All England Club. He will meet Lorenzo Musetti in the semi-final as he continued a magnificent fortnight for Italian tennis by reaching his first Grand Slam semi-final with victory over Taylor Fritz.

De Minaur’s injury despair was also bad news for Centre Court ticket holders who were left with only 61 minutes of singles action to digest - the time it took women’s fourth seed Elena Rybakina to beat Elina Svitolina’s 6-3 6-2.

Big-serving Rybakina, the 2022 champion and favourite now to lift the trophy for the second time, will face Barbora Krejcikova in Thursday’s semi-finals after the tamed the firepower of Latvia’s Jelena Ostapenko for a 6-4 7-6(4) win in a battle of former French Open champions.

Thursday’s other women’s semi-final will be between Italian seventh seed Jasmine Paolini and Croatian Donna Vekic.

The 22-year-old Musetti initially looked like being overpowered by American big-hitter Fritz but produced a sublime display of silky all-court tennis to beat the 13th seed 3-6 7-6(5) 6-2 3-6 6-1 and set up a clash with Djokovic.

It is only the second time in history that an Italian man and woman have reached the semi-finals at a Grand Slam, the first coming last month when Paolini and Jannik Sinner reached the last four at the French Open.