In short: 

Alex de Minaur has pulled out of Wimbledon just hours before he was due to play Novak Djokovic. 

The Australian hopeful said he was devastated but could not play due to an injury he sustained on Monday. 

What’s next? 

His withdrawal has left Djokovic to face Taylor Fritz or Lorenzo Musetti on Friday for a berth in the final.

Australian number one Alex de Minaur has pulled out of Wimbledon with a “freak” hip injury just hours before he was due to play Novak Djokovic in his first quarterfinal at the All England Club.

The ninth seed suffered his injury on the winning point of his last-16 match against Arthur Fils on Monday, a result that set him up for his maiden last-eight appearance against the great seven-time champion.

Despite the enormity of the moment for de Minaur, he barely celebrated the victory, clearly concerned by the injury that he tried to play down as simply a “jarred” hip.

His withdrawal from what would have been his second straight major quarterfinal after this year’s French Open left Djokovic to face Taylor Fritz or Lorenzo Musetti on Friday for a berth in the final.

Man playing tennis

Alex de Minaur plays a forehand return to Arthur Fils during their fourth round match at Wimbledon on July 8.(AP: Alberto Pezzali)

“Obviously not an announcement I wanted to make by any means,” De Minaur said at a press conference at the All England Club.

“Yeah, I’m devastated but had to pull out due to a hip injury.”

The 25-year-old was clearly emotional and his voice shook as he said he had torn the fibrocartilage where his adductor connects to his abdominal muscles.

“I felt a loud crack during the last three points of my match against Fils and got a scan yesterday. It confirmed this was the injury and with high risk of making it worse if I was to step on court,” he said.

“It is no secret that at this stage of my career, it was the biggest match of my career, so I wanted to do anything I could to play.

“I knew the results yesterday but I still wanted to wake up today hoping I would feel some sort of miracle.

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

De Minaur described it as “a freak injury” suffered while he extended himself to his limits to win his match with a sliding forehand.

Famed for his athleticism and explosive movement around the court, de Minaur had spoken about the unique challenges of sliding on grass to retrieve balls.

Once reserved for slippery clay, de Minaur noted players had got more comfortable sliding on grass in recent years, but admitted he had been “a little bit scared of sliding on grass”.

“Once you get through that scare factor that you’re going to roll an ankle or something like that and just trust that you’ve got enough momentum to slide, it’s a game changer on grass,” he said after his fourth-round win.

“Any extra inch you can get movement-wise on grass, it’s definitely a big advantage over your opponents.”

He said doctors could not give him a solid timeline for recovery from the “completely unique, new injury” because there is “very little research” out there.

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