Novak Djokovic gets BYE to Wimbledon semi-final as Alex de Minaur withdraws with hip injury

Novak Djokovic gets BYE to Wimbledon semi-final as Alex de Minaur withdraws with hip injury

NOVAK DJOKOVIC has received a bye to the Wimbledon semi-finals after Alex de Minaur pulled out just hours before their scheduled Centre Court match.

The Aussie – boyfriend of British No1 Katie Boulter – confirmed in an impromptu press conference that he is suffering with a “freak” hip injury, and is unable to take to the court.

RexNovak Djokovic has received a bye to the Wimbledon semi-finals[/caption]

Alex de Minaur has pulled out of WimbledonAFP

Ninth seed De Minaur, 25, revealed that he felt a “loud crack” in the final stages of his fourth-round clash with Arthur Fils.

He underwent a scan yesterday, which revealed that taking to the court against Djokovic could make things worse.

De Minaur said: “I’m devastated to pull out due to a hip injury, a little tear of the cartilage which is connected to the adductor.

“I felt a loud crack during the last three points of the match against Fils. I got a scan yesterday that this was the injury. It’s a high risk of making it worse.

“If I am completely honest, they haven’t been able to give a definite recovery plan as it is a unique injury.

“It’s based on pain. Right now, it can be anywhere from three-six weeks, it depends how quickly my body heals.”

Asked if there had been any chance that he would be able to play, a downcast De Minaur said: “It’s no secret that at this stage of my career, it was the biggest.

“I wanted to do anything I could, once I got the response, I wanted to wake up today and hope I have some form of miracle.

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“The problem with me going out and playing, one stretch, one slide, one anything could make this injury go from three-six weeks to four months, so it’s too much, too risky.”

De Minaur, who had been set to play in his first Wimbledon quarter-final, added: “It’s devastating, no way to beat around the bush, I have gone from achieving, having not been able to enjoy what I have achieved this week, I knew as soon as I felt that pop, something bad had happened.

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“It has been two days of worrying, just waiting what the results showed, in the grand scheme of things, it could have been worse, I try to hold on to that.”

De Minaur then lifted the lid on his anguish in the 48 hours since beating Fils.

He went on: “I have struggled to sleep for the last couple of days, I have hoped I would wake up and feel it to a point where I can at least go on court, again it’s almost disrespectful me not to go on court 100 per cent against someone like Novak.

“There is no point going out there, if I am not going out to win.”

‘I HEARD THAT CRACK’

On the exact nature of his issue, De Minaur revealed: “It’s quite a unique injury. I am hoping the pain goes down, ultimately, it’s working against the clock to be back as soon as possible.

“It’s quite high up in my hip, almost where the adductor and ab, insertion, that’s where I feel it.

“I slid out to a forehand, created a lot of force, heard that crack.”

Asked if he had spoken to Djokovic personally to inform him of his decision, De Minaur said: “My plan always from the start was if I didn’t feel great, I knew I needed a miracle today.

“I warmed up as early as possible, I knew as early as possible, I didn’t see Novak at the court, I saw his manager and let him know, but I haven’t seen Novak yet.”

De Minaur, whose Olympics participation is now in severe doubt, added: “This hurts more knowing that I feel close, closer than ever before, I feel like, I am putting myself in this position, I cannot go out there and play.”

He then revealed that his injury was nothing to do with an existing issue, and was the result of a “freak” incident.

De Minaur, who has been dating Boulter for three years, had claimed that he wanted to be an “honorary Brit” for his clash with Djokovic.

On the prospect, he said after his match against Fils: “Oh, 100 per cent. I’ll take all the support I can get.

“I can be the honorary Brit here at Wimbledon. I’ll take all the support I can get.”

In a final message to the Wimbledon crowd this year, De Minaur said this afternoon: “To the British fans who have supported me, I am extremely disappointed, I felt great playing in front of them, this has always been a special place.

“I hope I have more to show in years to come. You never know, go deep.”

Djokovic will play the winner of Taylor Fritz and Lorenzo Musetti in Friday’s semi-finals.

He will now be able to put his feet up this afternoon as the American and Italian do battle on No1 Court.

With Djokovic vs De Minaur cancelled, All England Club chiefs have adjusted this afternoon’s schedule.

Heather Watson and Joe Salisbury’s mixed doubles clash against Jan Zielinski and Hsieh Su-Wei will now follow Elena Rybakina vs Elina Svitolina on Centre Court.

The day’s action will then conclude with former champion Ash Barty’s invitational debut alongside Casey Dellacqua, with the Aussie duo facing Andrea Petkovic and Magdalena Rybarikova.

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