Lorenzo Musetti of Italy celebrates after defeating Taylor Fritz of the United States in their quarterfinal match at Wimbledon in London on Wednesday. Mosa’ab Elshamy/Associated Press

LONDON — Lorenzo Musetti reached his first Grand Slam semifinal by eliminating Taylor Fritz 3-6, 7-6 (5), 6-2, 3-6, 6-1 at Wimbledon on Wednesday and will take on Novak Djokovic next.

The 25th-seeded Musetti, a 22-year-old from Italy, had never been past the third round at the All England Club – or the fourth round at any major tournament – until now.

His victory over the 13th-seeded Fritz was the 37th five-setter at the All England Club this year, the most at any Grand Slam tournament.

Now Musetti will go up against Djokovic with a berth in the final on the line.

It will be Djokovic’s record-tying 13th semifinal at Wimbledon alone – equaling Roger Federer – and 49th Slam semifinal overall, extending a mark he already held. As Musetti pursues his first major championship, Djokovic seeks a 25th, including what would be an eighth at the All England Club.

Djokovic’s smooth trip through this year’s bracket was made even easier when the man he was supposed to play in the quarterfinals Wednesday, Alex de Minaur, pulled out with a hip injury hours before their match was scheduled to begin.


Playing at a sun-swathed No. 1 Court against Fritz, an American who is one of the sport’s biggest servers but fell to 0-4 in major quarterfinals, Musetti managed to accumulate 13 break points and convert six. The outcome-determining break came on a forehand winner by Musetti that made it 2-0 in the last set; moments later, another break made it 4-0.

Queen Camilla, the wife of King Charles III, was in the stands and joined fans in doing the wave.

There was not a ton of variety exhibited by either player; they were mainly content to trade groundstrokes from the baseline. But Musetti did manage to accrue points with effective drop shots, occasionally following them with successful passing attempts or lobs.

Djokovic had knee surgery less than a month before the start of play at the All England Club. But despite limitations on his movement, the 37-year-old Djokovic has dropped only two sets so far — facing a qualifier in the first round, a wild-card entrant in the second and only one seeded player, No. 15 Holger Rune.

Instead of going up against No. 9 de Minaur on Wednesday, Djokovic will get three full days off before meeting Musetti on Friday. The other men’s semifinal will be defending champion Carlos Alcaraz against Daniil Medvedev; they advanced Tuesday.

Djokovic and Musetti have played each other six times previously. Djokovic has won five of those, including a five-setter at this year’s French Open that concluded after 3 a.m. It was in Djokovic’s following match in Paris that he tore the meniscus in his right knee.


Elena Rybakina of Kazakhstan plays a forehand return to Elina Svitolina of Ukraine during their quarterfinal match at Wimbledon in London, on Wednesday. Kirsty Wigglesworth/Associated Press

In the women’s quarterfinals Wednesday, 2022 champion Elena Rybakina grabbed nine of the last 11 games to defeat No. 21 Elina Svitolina 6-3, 6-2, and No. 31 Barbora Krejcikova eliminated No. 13 Jelena Ostapenko 6-4, 7-6 (4) in a matchup between two past champions at the French Open.

The other women’s semifinal on Thursday will be No. 7 Jasmine Paolini of Italy against unseeded Donna Vekic of Croatia.

The 25-year-old Rybakina — at No. 4 the highest seeded woman left in the draw — had seven aces and 28 winners to improve her record at the All England Club to 19-2.

“Definitely, I have an aggressive style of game,” Rybakina said. “I have a huge serve, so it’s a big advantage.”

Her match lasted 1 hour, 1 minute – shorter than the second set alone of Krejcikova against Ostapenko, who at one point ordered her coach to leave the stands.

Krejcikova won her first Grand Slam title on the red clay at Roland Garros in 2021, but never had put together a five-match winning streak on grass until now.


“There have been many doubts from the inside, but also from outside – from the outside world,” said Krejcikova, a 28-year-old from the Czech Republic who arrived at the All England Club with a record of just 6-9 in 2024. “But I’m super happy than I never gave up and that I’m standing here right now.”

De Minaur’s exit is the latest to come because of injury in Week 2 of the tournament. Players who stopped competing in the middle of fourth-round matches because they were hurt include No. 10 Grigor Dimitrov in the men’s draw, and No. 12 Madison Keys and No. 17 Anna Kalinskaya in the women’s.

The hip issue for de Minaur, a 25-year-old Australian, arose right near the end of his four-set win against Arthur Fils on Monday. De Minaur said he heard a crack and knew something was wrong.

He underwent medical tests Tuesday that revealed the extent of the problem but tried to practice on Wednesday morning in the hope he would be able to take on Djokovic. This was the first time de Minaur reached the quarterfinals at Wimbledon.

“It’s no secret that, at this stage of my career, this was the biggest match of my career. So wanted to do anything I could to play,” de Minaur said. “I knew what the results were yesterday, but I still wanted to wake up today and feel some sort of miracle and not feel it while I’m walking.”

He was told the hip could get worse if he played Wednesday.

“The problem with me going out and playing is that one stretch, one slide, one anything, can make this injury (recovery) go from three to six weeks to four months,” de Minaur said. “It’s too much to risk.”

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