Novak Djokovic gets walkover to Wimbledon semi-final as Alex de Minaur pulls out at the last minute

Novak Djokovic waves to the crowd as he leaves Centre Court following his victory against Denmark's Holger Rune
Novak Djokovic could face Carlos Alcaraz or Daniil Medvedev in the final (Picture: Getty)

Novak Djokovic has received a walkover to the Wimbledon semi-finals after Alex de Minaur pulled out of Wednesday’s showdown at the last minute.

Djokovic was set for an incredibly awkward return to Centre Court after publicly slamming the booing British crowd in an angry on-court interview on Monday, calling them out for their disrespect and furiously insisting they ‘can’t touch’ him.

De Minaur, though, has been forced to pull out of his scheduled quarter-final against the 24-time Grand Slam champion after hurting himself in his last match. It’s a huge blow for the Australian, who is dating British No.1 star Katie Boulter.

It means that Djokovic will next face either 13th-seed Taylor Fritz or Lorenzo Musetti as he looks to continue his quest for an eighth Wimbledon trophy.

De Minaur, explaining his mid-tournament withdrawal, said: ‘I felt a loud crack during the last three points of my match against [Arthur] Fils.

‘[I] got a scan yesterday and it confirmed that this was the injury, with high risk of making it worse if I was to step on court.

‘I wanted to do anything I could to play [against Novak Djokovic]. I wanted to wake up today hoping that I would feel some sort of miracle and not feel it while I’m walking.

Alex De Minaur of Australia celebrates during his match against Arthur Fils of France
Alex de Minaur was heading into the clash as an ‘honorary Brit’ (Picture: Getty)

‘They haven’t been able to tell me a definite recovery plan because it’s such a unique injury.

‘Based on pain right now, it can be anywhere from three to six weeks. It just depends on how quickly my body heals.’

Djokovic abruptly ended a BBC interview this week when he was persistently asked about the Wimbledon crowd who had been booing him.

 Novak Djokovic of Serbia addresses the crowd on Centre Court following victory against Holger Rune
Novak Djokovic called out booing fans for ‘disrespect’ on Monday (Picture: Getty)

Meanwhile, John McEnroe has urged the Wimbledon crowds to show Djokovic more respect, even if he is the ‘Darth Vader’ of professional men’s tennis.

John Lloyd feels Djokovic’s outburst came because he is ‘annoyed’ at the popularity that fellow Big Three legends Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal get.

‘I think deep down he gets a bit annoyed at some of his rivals, in particular Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, and they were so popular on court,’ Lloyd said about Djokovic.

‘Novak, sometimes, is just not as popular as those two. Well who would be? And I think sometimes he gets a little bit annoyed at it, the crowd gets on him, thinks it’s a bit personal, it isn’t.’

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *