Novak Djokovic is through to the semi-finals of Wimbledon without hitting a ball after Alex de Minaur pulled out of Wednesday's match.

The Serbian was due to play the Australian on Centre Court but his opponent, in an impromptu press conference, said that he is suffering with a hip injury and is unable to play. De Minaur had seen off Frenchman Arthur Fils in four sets to set up his match with Djokovic, but knew he had paid the price in the latter stages of that match.

De Minaur, the boyfriend of British No.1 Katie Boulter, said he heard a loud crack while sliding for a forehand in the closing stages of his win over Fils. In an emotional press conference, he said he had struggled to sleep due to the pain and worry that the biggest match of his career would pass him by.

"Obviously not an announcement I wanted to make by any means," the ninth seed said. "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.

"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 high risk of making it worse if I was to step on court."

De Minaur had tried to give himself as much time to recover before making the difficult decision to withdraw. He felt it would have been "almost disrespectful" to Djokovic to take to Centre Court on Wednesday afternoon if he wasn't 100 per cent.

The Australian is expecting to be sidelined for three to six weeks and said that playing on Wednesday could have risked extending that lay-off to four months.

Djokovic, the seven-time champion who will make more history if he lands victory at SW19, will wait to see who he'll face in the last four on Friday. He will play Italy's Lorenzo Musetti or America's Taylor Fritz, who play their quarter-final second on Court One on Wednesday afternoon.

Djokovic lost his Wimbledon title 12 months ago to Carlos Alcaraz, who will face Daniil Medvedev in the other semi-final. That bought to an end a run of successive championships and the Serbian is yet to claim a Grand Slam in 2024, having lost in the last four at the Australian Open before an injury curtailed his hopes at the French Open.

If Djokovic wins his semi-final after a long break to refresh himself, a re-match of Djokovic vs Alcaraz could be the cards in the final. De Minaur's withdrawal means Djokovic has already made some history, matching Roger Federer's tally of 13 Wimbledon semi-finals in the singles.

2024-07-10T11:25:41Z dg43tfdfdgfd