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Rediff.com  » Sports » Wimbledon PIX: Musetti stops Fritz; Djokovic gets walkover

Wimbledon PIX: Musetti stops Fritz; Djokovic gets walkover

Last updated on: July 11, 2024 00:03 IST
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IMAGE: Italy's Lorenzo Musetti celebrates after winning his Wimbledon quarter-final match against Taylor Fritz of the US. Photograph:Hannah Mckay/Reuters

Lorenzo Musetti moved into his maiden Grand Slam semi-final by outlasting American 13th seed Taylor Fritz 3-6, 7-6(5), 6-2, 3-6, 6-1 at Wimbledon on Wednesday.

 

The 25th-seeded Italian's bid to join compatriot and world number one Jannik Sinner as a major champion this year faces a massive hurdle, however, as he faces seven-times All England Club champion Novak Djokovic in the last four.

IMAGE: Lorenzo Musetti faces seven-times Wimbledon champion Novak Djokovic in the semi-finals. Photograph:Hannah Mckay/Reuters

After holding in a tight first game, Fritz seized the early break for a 3-1 lead when Musetti netted a backhand, before the American consolidated the advantage in the next with a powerful forehand winner to set the tone for the first set.

The Eastbourne champion continued to crank up his forehand and serve in glorious sunshine, occasionally drawing gasps from Court One fans with rockets from the baseline, and grabbed the lead in the match with an ace.

IMAGE: Lorenzo Musetti made it to the semi-finals of a Grand Slam for the first time in his career. Photograph:Hannah Mckay/Reuters

After the pair exchanged breaks at the start of the second set, Queen's Club runner-up Musetti pounced again to go 5-3 up, and although Fritz erased the deficit the Italian raised his level to edge the tiebreak.

Musetti mixed up his game with chips and slices and forced Fritz into uncharacteristic errors, easing through the third set on the back of two breaks, but he handed the American a way back into the match after dropping the next set.

IMAGE: American 13th seed Taylor Fritz in action. Photograph:Hannah Mckay/Reuters

As shadows covered the manicured turf to make life tough for the players, Musetti built a 5-0 lead in the decider and finished it off on serve when Fritz hit a shot long after falling awkwardly at the net in the previous point.

Musetti's reward is a meeting with 24-times Grand Slam champion Djokovic, who went through to a record-equalling 13th semi-final at Wimbledon after Australian ninth seed Alex De Minaur pulled out of their match with a hip injury.

IMAGE: Alex De Minaur sustained a hip injury during his fourth-round win over Frenchman Arthur Fils. Photograph: Hannah Mckay/Reuters

Ninth seed De Minaur sustained the injury in the closing stages of his 6-2, 6-4, 4-6, 6-3 fourth-round win over Frenchman Arthur Fils on Monday.

"I'm devastated to pull out due to a hip injury, a little tear of the fibre cartilage that is at the end of or connects to the adductor," said De Minaur, who stunned Djokovic at the United Cup team tournament in the opening week of the season.

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

The 25-year-old has reached two Grand Slam quarter-finals, losing to Dominic Thiem at the 2020 US Open and Alexander Zverev at this year's French Open.

"I knew the results (of the scan) yesterday, but hoped I would wake up today and feel some sort of miracle," added De Minaur, who is enjoying his best season on the tour having reached the top 10.

"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 is now in a race to be fit for the Olympics, where the tennis event begins at Roland Garros on July 27.

De Minaur's withdrawal meant seven-times champion Djokovic equalled Roger Federer's record of 13 appearances in the Wimbledon semi-finals.

Djokovic is also looking to match the Swiss maestro's tally of eight titles at the All England Club and the 37-year-old will next face American Taylor Fritz or 25th seed Lorenzo Musetti, who meet later.

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Source: REUTERS
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