Wimbledon: What is a Walkover and How Many Occurred, Including Novak Djokovic’s?

24-time Major champion Novak Djokovic advanced to the Wimbledon 2024 semifinals after his rival, Alex de Minaur, gave him a walkover.

24-time Major champion Novak Djokovic advanced to the Wimbledon 2024 semifinals after his rival, Alex de Minaur, gave him a walkover. The latter advanced to his first-ever quarterfinal at the event after defeating Arthur Fils in four sets.

However, instead of celebrating when the final point was played, de Minaur appeared concerned. He thought he had injured himself in the final few points, and additional examinations confirmed his worst concerns. The Australian suffered a serious hip injury, which puts his Olympic participation in question.

24-time Major champion Novak Djokovic advanced to the Wimbledon 2024 semifinals after his rival, Alex de Minaur, gave him a walkover. The latter advanced to his first-ever quarterfinal at the event after defeating Arthur Fils in four sets.

However, instead of celebrating when the final point was played, de Minaur appeared concerned. He thought he had injured himself in the final few points, and additional examinations confirmed his worst concerns. The Australian suffered a serious hip injury, which puts his Olympic participation in question.

What is a walkover in tennis?

What is a walkover in tennis?
Iga Swiatek (AP Photo/Alberto Pezzali)

Walkovers are quite common in tennis due to the short turnaround between matches and the demanding schedule. The term is commonly used when a player withdraws before the start of a match. Doing so in the middle of a match is referred to as retirement.

To play the scheduled match, a lucky loser is called to replace a player who withdraws before their first-round match. However, when this occurs in the later rounds, a player advances to the following round without taking a single shot.

Aside from Novak Djokovic’s walkover against de Minaur, there has only been one other instance of it this Wimbledon season. Lucas Pouille retired earlier to their third-round encounter with an injury, thus the Australian benefited from it.

While only a few walkovers have been granted at Wimbledon this year, there have been numerous mid-match retirements throughout the event. Madison Keys was on the verge of triumph in her fourth-round match against Jasmine Paolini but had to call it quits at 5-5 in the third set.

Grigor Dimitrov was unable to complete the first set of his fourth-round match against Daniil Medvedev and was forced to withdraw at 5-3. Other players who retired from the competition included Anna Kalinskaya, Jessica Bouzas Maneiro, Camila Osorio, Thanasi Kokkinakis, and Hubert Hurkacz.

Novak Djokovic to face either Taylor Fritz or Lorenzo Musetti in the Wimbledon semifinals

A walkover was hardly how Djokovic envisioned himself reaching the Wimbledon semifinals. Nonetheless, he would be pleased to be another step closer to a 25th Major title. He could face Taylor Fritz or Lorenzo Musetti next.

The Serb leads Fritz 9-0 in their head-to-head matchup and also has a 5-1 advantage over Musetti. He will be the clear favourite to defeat either of them and advance to another final at the All-England Club.

If Djokovic makes it to the summit, he might face Carlos Alcaraz in a rematch from last year’s final. Daniil Medvedev, on the other hand, has the potential to play spoiler and eliminate the Spaniard to reach the final. In any case, the championship round promises to be entertaining.

Also Read: Andy Murray To Retire From Tennis After Wimbledon?