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Djokovic gets free pass to Wimbledon semi-finals as Rybakina cruises
© afp.com/Ben Stansall

Djokovic gets free pass to Wimbledon semi-finals as Rybakina cruises

Published by , Wednesday 07/10/24 13:51

Novak Djokovic progressed to a record-equalling 13th Wimbledon semi-final without hitting a ball on Wednesday after Alex de Minaur pulled out injured as former champion Elena Rybakina eased through.

Australian ninth seed De Minaur, 25, announced shortly after midday at the All England Club that he was "devastated to pull out due to a hip injury".

It means Djokovic has now equalled Roger Federer's men's record of 13 semi-final appearances at Wimbledon as he closes on the Swiss great's mark of eight singles titles.

The 37-year-old Serbian is also through to a record-extending 49th men's Grand Slam semi-final where he will face Italy's Lorenzo Musetti.

De Minaur, who beat Djokovic at the United Cup in January, said: "It's no secret that this would have been the biggest match of my career but it's a unique injury.

"I woke up this morning wanting to feel some sort of miracle, but there was a high risk of making the injury worse if I stepped on court.

"One stretch, one slide could take this from a three to six weeks' injury to four months out."

Djokovic will play 25th seed Musetti for a place in Sunday's showpiece match after the Italian beat US 13th seed Taylor Fritz 3-6, 7-6 (7/5), 6-2, 3-6, 6-1.

The world number two -- who had knee surgery last month -- does not have a title to his name this year and is still seeking a first victory against a fellow top-10 player.

But a historic 25th Grand Slam triumph is coming into sharp focus for Djokovic, who demolished Holger Rune in straight sets in the fourth round.

The Serb has a 5-1 winning record over 22-year-old Musetti, including a come-from-behind five-set victory at the French Open last month.

"Djokovic knows the stadiums here better than me," admitted the Italian.

"He's a legend everywhere and has done unthinkable things. We've played lots of times and I expect a huge fight.

"It's the toughest challenge in tennis but I am an ambitious guy and I like to be challenged. I will give 100 percent."

- Ruthless Rybakina -

In early action on Wednesday, 2022 champion Rybakina barely broke sweat in swatting aside last year's semi-finalist Elina Svitolina 6-3, 6-2 in 61 minutes.

She will face Barbora Krejcikova for a place in Saturday's final after the Czech 31st seed came out on top against Jelena Ostapenko in a battle of former French Open champions.

Russian-born Rybakina, now 19-2 in main-draw matches at Wimbledon, broke the Ukrainian 21st seed four times in the match on Centre Court.

The fourth seed was broken in the first game in front of the watching Queen Camilla but hit back straight away and barely put a foot wrong after that.

The 25-year-old, who crunched 28 winners to Svitolina's eight, said she had "amazing memories" from 2022 but does not like the favourite tag.

"I have an aggressive style of game, I have a huge serve so it's a big advantage," she said.

Krejcikova took the first set against Latvian 13th seed Ostapenko with a single break on Court No. 1.

Ostapenko, the 2018 Wimbledon semi-finalist, finally broke through in the fourth game of the second set for a 3-1 lead and backed it up with a hold.

But she went dramatically off the boil as Krejcikova reeled off the next four games for a 5-4 lead.

Ostapenko clung on to break the Czech in the 10th game but 2021 French Open champion Krejcikova played the more composed tie-break to seal the victory.

"I told myself that I'm going to leave here everything I have and I'm really happy that I did and it's a great moment for me," said Krejcikova.

Victory for the 28-year-old comes after a miserable run in 2024, with her season marred by injury and illness.

Her run to the Birmingham quarter-final last month allowed her to celebrate match wins for the first time since Abu Dhabi in February.

"It was a very, very difficult period. It was actually super difficult even before this tournament," she said.

Source: AFP

Latest comments comments
Come on Carlitos, make it two in a row!
cyberpixie cyberpixie il y a 47 minutes
Blooming heck, I've heard that story 100x
Fred Phoesh Fred Phoesh il y a 5 heures
It wasn'l booooooooing.. Those were just the leftovers of Ruuuuuune fans
StAdam StAdam il y a 9 heures
Was it the right call by chair umpire?
Paddy P Paddy P il y a 13 heures
And just as mentioned ,he lost his shit again.
Gezundheit Gezundheit il y a 13 heures
Paolina is no Serena Williams. Her defense is as good as Serena's, maybe even a little better on court coverage. But Serena had a powerful FH and BH and a serve better than some men. Her offense was much better than Paolina's.
SH321 SH321 il y a 1 jour
Top des commentaires comments
What a violin solo concerto for all Muuuuuuuuusetti"s.......lol
10 thumb_up
StAdam StAdam
Can I see tears? xaxaxaxa.... Idemooooooo bre!
10 thumb_up
Damirica Damirica
With Novak's miraculous recovery from surgery, I sometimes think, did he actually have surgery or is it another trick, as Novak said he knows all the tricks.
8 thumb_up
Snoopy 10 Snoopy 10
All faithful Novak followers are invited for his next Sundays violin solo concerto on Central Court
8 thumb_up
StAdam StAdam
........and gone! :)
8 thumb_up
StAdam StAdam
ranking Top 5 Friday 12
Mrock 1 Mrock 12pts
Didic8983 2 Didic8983 10pts
Kraken 3 Kraken 10pts
Jose C 5 Jose C 10pts
Play the predictions