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Alex de Minaur through at Wimbledon after rival’s ‘classy’ act amid ugly Andy Murray fallout…

An unexpected move from Emma Raducanu officially ended Andy Murray’s Wimbledon career.

Alex de Minaur has praised a “classy” act from rival Lucas Pouille after the Frenchman’s injury withdrawal gifted the Aussie tennis star passage through to the second week at Wimbledon. It came on another day of drama at the All England Club, where fan favourite Andy Murray’s Wimbledon career was officially ended after Emma Raducanu pulled out of their planned appearance in the mixed doubles.

 

 

 

 

 

While that represented further heartbreak for Murray, who’d been given a rousing farewell by fans last week, de Minaur admitted that Pouille’s injury withdrawal was a massive relief. The ‘Demon’ had never previously benefited from a walkover in his 74-match grand-slam singles career but says it came at an opportune time with the weather forecast in London promising a long day of delays for most players.

However, the Aussie says Pouille informed him that he was going to be pulling out almost two hours before they were set to head out onto court. Pouille picked up the abdominal injury in his second round match against De Minaur’s compatriot Thanasi Kokkinakis, who retired hurt in the fourth set with a knee injury.

The Frenchman’s withdrawal meant de Minaur was able to begin his preparations for the second week of the grand slam while his fourth-round opponent Arthur Fils was made to battle past Roman Safiullin in five sets on another frustrating rain-interrupted day. De Minaur said he found out Pouille was withdrawing at about 9.15am when the Frenchman approached the 25-year-old during his pre-match warm-up routine and told him he was not right to play.

“I think it was a class act by him, letting me know early in the day, especially with the weather forecast showing it could be delayed for a long time,” said de Minaur. I’m wishing him a quick recovery. And as for me, I’m probably a little bit relieved. Just because everyone knew the type of day that was coming, that it was going to be a long one and I was able to finish quite quickly.”

De Minaur has now reached the fourth round in a fourth-straight grand slam tournament and is favourite to make his first quarter-final appearance at Wimbledon. His fourth round opponent Fils had to battle for three-and-a-quarter rain-interrupted hours against Russia’s 44th-ranked Safiullin, before the 20-year-old Frenchman won 4-6 6-3 1-6 6-4 6-3.

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