Saturday, July 20, 2024

Alex de Minaur’s Olympics dream takes hit following Wimbledon heartbreak

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Australian tennis star Alex de Minaur has been left shattered after he was forced to withdraw from his first Wimbledon quarter-final due to injury.

The 25-year-old had defeated Frenchman Arthur Fils in four sets on Monday to secure passage into the last eight for the first time at the All-England Club.

He was set to face off against world no.2 Novak Djokovic in arguably the biggest match of his career however de Minaur was unable to even take the court.

De Minaur struggled to celebrate his fourth round victory and said he had heard a “loud crack” in his hip in the closing stages of the match.

His withdrawal was confirmed after he underwent scans which confirmed a tear in the fibre cartilage connected to his hip adductor.

De Minaur addressed the media as he announced he wouldn’t take the court for fear of making the injury worse.

He said he was “devastated” to pull out but felt it would be “disrespectful” to face Djokovic while not playing at 100%.

“My plan always from the start was if I didn’t feel great, I knew I needed a miracle today, I warmed up as early as possible. I didn’t see Novak at the court, I saw his manager and let him know, but I haven’t seen Novak yet,” he told reporters.

“This hurts more knowing that I feel close, closer than ever before, I feel like I am putting myself in these positions, I cannot go out there and play.”

” To the British fans that have supported me, obviously extremely disappointed. I have felt the love, felt great playing in front of them. This is a special place for me and I am hoping with years to come I have more to come.”

With the Olympics just a fortnight away, de Minaur’s hopes of competing in Paris have also taken a huge dent as a result of his injury.

Former tennis stars rallied around the world no.9, including Aussies Ash Barty, Nick Kyrgios and Pat Cash, and three-time Wimbledon winner Boris Becker, as they predicted him to come back stronger. 

“I’m broken for Alex. I mean, you could see how much it means to him. Like he said, this was the biggest match of his life. This was the opportunity that he had worked so hard for,” former Wimbledon champion Ash Barty said.

“He is a resilient athlete. He’s a ripping guy. I know that this will be a challenge. But there will be a silver lining somewhere along the way that he’ll grow from, absolutely. 

“He belongs in the top 10. He belongs in the quarterfinals, semifinals, the latter stages of Grand Slams. This won’t be the first time he’s in the quarters here. He’ll get another opportunity.”

Wimbledon runner-up in 2022, Nick Kyrgios urged de Minaur to “rest up and comeback stronger” on X, while also telling BBC he made the “right decision” to withdraw from Wimbledon and focus on recovery.

“He has a great medical team and I would not advise him to go out there and play and potentially miss the remainder of the season when he is probably one of the favourites to go deep at the US Open as well, so I think he has made the right decision,” he said.

“The way Novak is playing and the way Demon is playing I think it would have at least been a four or five setter. I was going to call it, so I was super excited to go on today.”

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