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Why is De Minaur not playing the quarter-final against Djokovic at Wimbledon?

In a sudden twist of fate, Alex De Minaur has pulled out of the Wimbledon Men’s quarterfinal, giving Novak Djokovic a walkover to the semis.

Australia's Alex De Minaur reacts after winning against France's Arthur Fils during their men's singles fourth round tennis match on the eighth day of the 2024 Wimbledon Championships at The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club in Wimbledon, southwest London, on July 8, 2024. De Minaur won the match 6-2, 6-4, 4-6, 6-3. (Photo by Glyn KIRK / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE

Novak Djokovic is cruising into the Wimbledon semifinals without even breaking a sweat on Wednesday. His would-be opponent, Alex de Miñaur, had to bow out due to a hip injury he picked up during the final moments of his match against Arthur Fils. Djokovic will now face off against either Taylor Fritz from the US or Italy’s Lorenzo Musetti on Friday.

The 25-year-old Aussie, currently ranked 9th in the world, was clearly in pain when he clinched his win over the Frenchman. He barely celebrated his victory and glanced worriedly at his team. During the post-match press conference, De Miñaur shared what happened: “I felt a jolt when I slid to hit a forehand on my first match point. It was probably more fear than anything else. The tension was high. It happened in the hip area.”

Unfortunate Turn of Events

On Wednesday, De Miñaur confirmed his withdrawal: “I have to pull out because of a hip injury, a tear in the cartilage connecting the adductors. I felt a crack during the last three points against Fils. Tests showed playing could make it worse. I was hopeful after warming up this morning, but it’s just not possible.”

Djokovic now ties Roger Federer’s record of 13 Wimbledon semifinal appearances. The 37-year-old Serb leads in Grand Slam semifinal appearances with 49. Despite this lucky break, Djokovic isn’t guaranteed to keep his world number two ranking post-tournament. He needs to reach the final to ensure Carlos Alcaraz doesn’t overtake him by winning the title. This is only the third time Djokovic has advanced in a major due to his opponent’s withdrawal, the previous instances being the 2011 French Open quarters against Fabio Fognini and the 2016 US Open second round against Jiri Vesely.