Novak Djokovic draws level with Roger Federer as he gets huge Wimbledon title boost with cards falling into place

Shahida Jacobs
Novak Djokovic was due to face Alex de Minaur at Wimbledon
Novak Djokovic will no longer face Alex de Minaur at Wimbledon

Novak Djokovic is now just two wins away from a record-equalling eighth Wimbledon title and a record-extending 25th Grand Slam title after he moved into the semi-final of the grass-court Grand Slam without having to set foot on Centre Court.

The tennis great advanced to the last four on the back of Alex de Minaur’s “devastating” news just hours before they were due to meet in the quarter-final.

De Minaur suffered a hip injury during the latter stages of his four-set win over Arthur Fils on Monday.

“Obviously not an announcement I wanted to make by any means. 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,” the ninth seed said in a statement.

“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.

“It is no secret that at this stage of my career, it was the biggest match of my career. I knew the results yesterday but hoped I would wake up today and feel some sort of miracle.

“The problem with me going out and playing is one stretch, one slide, one anything can make this injury go from three to six weeks to four months.”

The Australian’s withdrawal saw Djokovic move into the semi-final at Wimbledon for a 13th time in his career as he drew level with his great rival Roger Federer for most last-four appearances in the Open Era.

The 37-year-old is now also the third player aged 37 or older to reach the semi-final of a Grand Slam after Ken Rosewall and Federer.

He will face either Taylor Fritz or Lorenzo Musetti in the last four and if he comes through that he will take on either defending champion Carlos Alcaraz or Daniil Medvedev in the final.

A title run will also help Djokovic to draw level with Federer for most trophies won at SW19.

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That would cap off yet another remarkable comeback from Djokovic after he was written off by many following not only a stuttering start to the 2024 season, but also because of injury.

The 24-time Grand Slam winner is yet to win a title this year and was beaten in the semi-final of the Australian Open by Jannik Sinner while he withdrew from his French Open quarter-final match due to injury.

Djokovic underwent surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his right knee and many declared he would not be fit in time for Wimbledon. However, he breezed into the last eight with wins over Vit Kopřiva, Jacob Fearnley, Alexei Popyrin and Holger Rune.

Now he finds himself on the doorstep of yet more history.