Wimbledon: Novak Djokovic withdraws with elbow injury
Serb was forced to withdraw after injuring himself during clash with Tomas Berdych
Novak Djokovic of Serbia is given treatment during his men’s singles quarter final match against Tomas Berdych on day nine of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships. Photo: Julian Finney/Getty Images
Novak Djokovic’s hopes of winning a fourth Wimbledon title ended in the most disappointing manner on Wednesday when he retired with an elbow injury during his quarter-final against Tomas Berdych. His withdrawal means Andy Murray will stay as world No1.
The Serb had already had treatment on his right elbow at the end of the first set and was trailing 7-6, 2-0 when he shook Berdych’s hand and called it a day.
It was only the third time in 28 matches that the three-time champion has failed to beat Berdych and the No11 seed, the runner-up here in 2010, will now play either Roger Federer or Milos Raonic for a place in the final. Djokovic had struggled with the injury in the previous round against Adrian Mannarino of France, a match that was played a day later than the other fourth-round matches because of rain.
He never looked entirely comfortable against Berdych, who served well and didn’t allow the world No2 a break point. Having held firm to get to a tiebreak, he took it 7-2 and Djokovic immediately took a medical timeout.
The break didn’t do him any good as Berdych broke serve to lead 2-0 and that was enough for Djokovic as he decided not to continue. The result means he will drop down to No 3 in the rankings and could even fall a place further if Federer takes the title.
Cilic beats Müller in straight sets
Every now and again, Marin Cilic puts his head above the parapet and when he does, he makes himself a contender. The Croatian did it at the US Open when he won his first grand slam title in 2014 and on Wednesday, his 3-6, 7-6 (6), 5-7, 7-5, 6-1 win over Gilles Müller of Luxembourg put him into the semi-finals of Wimbledon for the first time, two victories away from the title.
A quarter-finalist in each of the past three years, the 28-year-old seventh seed hammered 33 aces and finally got the better of the 34-year-old Müller, who ran out of steam in the final set, the effort of his epic win over Rafael Nadal in the previous round eventually catching up with him. With the American Sam Querrey having beaten the world No1 Andy Murray, Cilic must now be favourite to reach his first final.
“It means a lot, amazing, amazing achievement, I was three times getting stuck in the quarters,” he said. “Today was a real tough battle, Gilles was serving unbelievable and I had to work really hard to get a break at the end of the third set. I wasn’t serving that well in the first set. I just tried to gather my thoughts and work hard. It was a relief to get it done in the end.”
Müller, in his first slam quarter-final, began in superb style, breaking Cilic in the seventh game thanks to a stunning forehand and broke again two games later to take the set, the first the Croatian had dropped in the tournament. The left-hander yielded just one break point in the first two sets – at 6-5 in the second – and for long periods, Cilic was just hanging in there, looking for something to happen. The tiebreak proved to be the pivotal moment of the match, with Cilic taking it 8-6 to level, before breaking once in the third to go up two sets to one.
As he had done throughout the tournament, Müller came up with brilliant serving when in trouble and as Cilic missed his chances, the 34-year-old took his, breaking for 6-5 and serving out the fourth set. But when he was broken for 2-0 in the decider, he looked physically spent and Cilic ran away with it to take his place in the last four.