Novak Djokovic advances to Wimbledon semi-finals after Alex de Minaur withdraws

WIMBLEDON, England — Alex de Minaur heard a pop near the end of his fourth-round match on Monday and knew something was wrong. The 25-year-old Australian had just reached the quarterfinals of Wimbledon for the first time in his career, but from across the court he appeared to tell the team in his players’ box: “I can’t play.”

De Minaur, seeded ninth, withdrew from his quarterfinal against Novak Djokovic on Wednesday morning after a scan revealed a torn cartilage in his hip, meaning the 37-year-old Djokovic advanced to the semifinals without any problems.

Djokovic will face either 13th-seeded American Taylor Fritz or 25th-seeded Italian Lorenzo Musetti, who meet later on Wednesday on Court No. 1.

De Minaur is a talented tour veteran who is in the midst of perhaps his best season to date, having reached the quarterfinals of Roland Garros and played a clay-court tournament in Monte Carlo that is rated one level below a Grand Slam.

Instead of facing Djokovic, he joins a long list of players who have had to sit out the two weeks due to injury, including third-seeded Aryna Sabalenka, Madison Keys and Grigor Dimitrov.

One player who isn’t having any issues with his fitness? That would be Djokovic, who despite undergoing surgery to repair a torn medial meniscus in his knee on June 5, is still in contention to equal Roger Federer’s record eight Wimbledon championships, the most won by a man, and win a record 25 Grand Slam singles titles, which would be the most ever won by a man or woman. He is currently tied with Margaret Court, who won most of her major titles before the start of the Open era in 1968.

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