Alex De Minaur in the quarter-final of the ATP Cup 2020, Sydney Australia
Alex De Minaur in the quarter-final of the ATP Cup 2020, Sydney Australia | (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

Tennis | Wimbledon 2024 | Day Ten Talking Points: Alex De Minaur ‘devastated’ after Wimbledon withdrawal, Ash Barty denies retirement rumours after returning to Centre Court

By Tony Fairbairn at Wimbledon

  • Alex De Minaur was ‘devastated’ to withdraw from his Wimbledon quarter-final with Novak Djokovic as he is now a doubt for the Olympics
  • Ash Barty denied coming back to the WTA tour after returning to Centre Court in the invitational doubles
  • Elina Svitolina paid tribute to United Kingdom’s support to Ukraine after exiting Wimbledon
LONDON, ENGLAND – Alex De Minaur has revealed he is ‘devastated’ to withdraw from Wimbledon while Ash Barty denied coming back to the tour after returning to Centre Court in the invitational doubles.


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Alex De Minaur ‘devastated’ after Wimbledon withdrawal

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The day ten talking points start with Alex De Minaur after the Australian was forced to withdraw from his Wimbledon quarter-final due to a hip injury.

It was supposed to be an incredible day for De Minaur as he was due to play seven-time champion Novak Djokovic for a spot in the semi-finals.

However it ended in heart-break as De Minaur called a press conference at 12:10 to announce withdrawal from the event as he detailed what the injury is.

“Obviously not an announcement I wanted to make by any means. Yeah, I’m devastated, but I had to pull out due to a hip injury, a little tear of the fiber cartilage that kind of is at the end or connects to the adductor,” De Minaur started his press conference by saying.

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

“No, this is a completely unique, new injury that they’ve got very little research on. It’s four years worth of research. Therefore, that’s why they couldn’t give me an approximate on recovery time.

“It’s more just a little bit of hope, wait and see. So, yeah, it’s quite a unique injury. I’m hoping the pain goes down with a bit of rest, and then ultimately it’s kind of working against the clock to get back as soon as possible.”

It’s tough news for De Minaur to take especially as mentioned, it occurred when De Minaur was serving for the match against Arthur Fils.

Speaking further on the significance of today’s injury De Minaur said that today was supposed to be the biggest match of his life and was hoping for a miracle but playing today would make the injury significantly worse.

“Well, it’s no secret that at this stage in my career this was the biggest match of my career. I wanted to do anything I could to play. I got the results yesterday. I knew what the results were yesterday,” De Minaur stated.

“I still wanted to wake up today hoping that I would feel some sort of miracle and not feel it whilst I’m walking. The problem with me going out and playing is that one stretch, one slide, one anything could make this injury go from three to six weeks to four months. It was too much to risk.”

Now De Minaur faces a race against time to be fit for the Olympics which starts later this month.

Ahead of the event in Paris, De Minaur admitted he is a doubt for the games but will do everything possible to be fit.

“If I’m completely honest, I don’t know. They haven’t been able to tell me a definite recovery plan because it’s such a unique injury,” De Minaur said with a lack of certainty.

“It’s based on pain a little. Right now it can be anywhere from three to six weeks. It just depends on how quickly my body heals.”

As a result of De Minaur’s withdrawal, Djokovic is into a record-equalling 13th Wimbledon semi-final and will now play Lorenzo Musetti in five sets.



Ash Barty dismisses retirement rumours after making Centre Court return

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It’s time to move from one Australian to another as Ash Barty made her Centre Court return teaming up with Casey Dellacqua in the invitational doubles.

Three years to the day since Barty won her Wimbledon title, the former world number one made her return to Centre Court under different circumstances this time as a retired player.

Speaking after the match Barty was pleased to be back on Centre Court and spoke about the experience of playing her first tennis match for two years.

“It was amazing. Very surprising. A lovely surprise to be able to go out on Centre Court,” Barty exclaimed.

“I thought I’d played my last match out there. For Casey and I, it was nice to resurrect our last match we played together on Centre Court. It was beautiful out there this evening. I think everyone enjoyed. We had a good time.

“Yeah, it changed so much in my life. It was my dream. It was my childhood dream to win this tournament, to win The Championships. I was able to do that. I was fortunate enough to be in a position to play on such a beautiful court on a Saturday afternoon that every athlete wants to play. It was really nice to go out there today and reminisce a little bit.

“Obviously there have been a few changes around here the last two or three years. It’s nice to come in and settle in like everyone else. It was really enjoyable to go out there. It feels very different when you’re under the microscope in a singles final to when you’re out there with your best mate. Both enjoyable, but both very different.”

Not only is Barty here to participate in the invitational doubles but the Australian is also working for the BBC as part of their coverage.

The multiple-time Grand Slam champion admitted the experience has been different but enjoyable.

“It’s been new. It’s been something I’ve never done before. Obviously dipping my toe in on the commentary side of the fence,” Barty explained.

“It’s been really enjoyable to work with the BBC. I’ve worked with some of the best in our game in that respect. I’ve learnt a lot and have really enjoyed watching live tennis again. I’ve got a beautiful commentary box on both Centre and Court 1.

“You get a good view and are able to absorb what’s happening out on the court. Hopefully people at home are enjoying what I’m having to say. I don’t know whether I’m right, wrong or indifferent, but I’m enjoying it as well.”

Finally, Barty finished off her press conference by answering the question that’s on everyone’s mind, is she making a return to the tour?

“You guys are killing me. I don’t know how much more. Anyone have a thesaurus for a word that I can use for ‘no’? No. Did you ask anyone else? No, mate. No, I’m not,” Barty emphatically responded.

“No, it doesn’t. I had such a fulfilling journey. I really enjoy watching others do well. We have seen Iga dominate for the most part of the last two and a half years. She’s been incredible the way she has composure, has gone on incredible runs, winning matches and really dominating, which is hard to do.

“It takes discipline. It takes obviously hard work. It takes talent. It takes the ability to put it all together. It’s been really impressive watching from afar. I don’t know the ins and outs. I haven’t been following that closely. But I just know that she’s always there or thereabouts when it matters the most in the big moments, which has been really impressive. All right. I’ll see guys never again.”


Elina Svitolina praises United Kingdom’s relationship with Ukraine

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Next up it’s time to hear from Elina Svitolina who was convincingly beaten by Elena Rybakina in the Wimbledon quarter-finals.

Speaking on the match, the Ukrainian praised Rybakina’s serve as she failed to make a second consecutive semi-final at Wimbledon.

“Yeah, of course, it was quite tough first seven games. It was few chances for me here and there to get into the match. Of course, break first game. Then I didn’t serve so well,” Svitolina explained.

“But Elena, she’s a big striker. She’s not letting you so much into the match, as well. So, yeah, for me was missed chances for me a little bit at the beginning of that first set. Then she start serving much better, start to strike the ball really well.

“The game that she broke me in the first set, she hit like four great returns, even though I served first serve. Yeah, was tough for me to do anything on those balls. She just played really well that game. Then she has a big serve, so sometimes it goes like this – especially on grass.”

It’s a disappointing end to an encouraging tournament for Svitolina in what has been a difficult last few days for her.

That’s because Ukraine has been under attack once again as she has had to look at difficult images from her home country.

Speaking after the match Svitolina praised the United Kingdom’s relationship with Ukraine as aid continues to be sent to Ukraine.

“Yeah, the support that Ukraine been getting from United Kingdom been really unbelievable,” Svitolina said.

“We couldn’t thank enough for all the people, as well, that let a lot of Ukrainians use their homes, share their homes with them. Of course, it’s something bigger than sport. Yeah, unbelievable support that all the Ukrainians got from England.”


Lorenzo Musetti reaches maiden Grand Slam semi-final

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The final word goes to Musetti after the Italian reached his first Grand Slam semi-final with a five set victory over Taylor Fritz.

After the match, Musetti described his victory as the best day of his career as he looks forward to a meeting with Djokovic.

“Of course, yeah, for me it’s kind of magic day,” Musetti joyfully said.

“I have to say after the birth of my son, I will put in the second position today for my career. Of course, for my career is the best day of my life.”



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