Alex De Minaur happy to take role of Wimbledon’s honorary Briton

Alex De Minaur played down injury fears after he reached the Wimbledon quarter-finals for the first time and is happy to be an honorary Briton for the rest of the tournament.

The ninth seed from Australia continued his fine run at the Championships with a 6-2 6-4 4-6 6-3 win over Arthur Fils on Court One, but looked to pull up during match point and barely celebrated the fine volley which closed out the tie.

De Minaur seemed to shake his head in the direction of his box, which contained long-term girlfriend and British number one Katie Boulter, but claimed it was only a scare after he jarred his hip.

Alex De Minaur sat down looking concerned
Alex De Minaur appeared in pain after clinching his quarter-final spot (Zac Goodwin/PA)

It means De Minaur should be fine to play his last-eight clash on Wednesday and hopes to receive support from the crowd in SW19 after Emma Raducanu’s defeat on Sunday ended the home nation’s participation in the singles draw.

“Oh, 100 per cent. I’ll take all the support I can get. I can be the honorary Brit here at Wimbledon,” De Minaur said.

“I do feel very loved out there, I must say. I always love coming here to Wimbledon and playing here. I always feel like I play some of my best tennis.

“Over the years I feel like the support I’ve had has grown significantly. It’s a great feeling as a player to know you’ve got a lot of people in that stadium backing you in, having your back when essentially you’re so far away from home.

“Yeah, definitely over the years I’ve learnt a lot more about the British culture thanks to Katie.”

Katie Boulter watches from the box
Katie Boulter watches her boyfriend Alex De Minaur reach the Wimbledon quarter-finals (Zac Goodwin/PA)

De Minaur, into the last 16 for a fourth consecutive grand slam, raced into a two-set lead before he was broken twice by a pumped up Fils to force a fourth set.

An early break put De Minaur in control, but he failed to close out the match on serve when 5-2 up against the talented 20-year-old Frenchman.

When De Minaur did finish the tie, the 25-year-old stood almost motionless with a concerned look as the crowd applauded.

However, he allayed fitness fears and was pleased he exorcised demons from 2022 when he exited Wimbledon at the same stage after he squandered a two-set lead and two match points to Cristian Garin.

He added: “It was kind of more hip area. Felt like I jarred it a little bit.

“Again, it’s probably a little bit of a scare more than anything.

“I’m feeling pretty decent. Body feels a little bit ginger everywhere, I’m not going to lie.

“I’ve done my recovery. I’m sure I’ll be feeling great tomorrow.

“Obviously a couple years back I was in a similar position, being two sets to love up, as well.

“Us humans, we tend to be the only living thing that makes the same mistake twice. I’m glad I didn’t make that same mistake today.”

De Minaur will face Novak Djokovic in the quarter-finals after the seven-time champion raced past 15th seed Holger Rune 6-3 6-4 6-2.

Lorenzo Musetti falls to the floor with his hands over his eyes after reaching the Wimbledon quarter-finals
Lorenzo Musetti celebrates reaching the quarter-finals (John Walton/PA)

Lorenzo Musetti was the first male player to book his place in the quarter-finals after a four-set success over lucky-loser Giovanni Mpetshi Perricard.

Mpetshi Perricard had been one of the stories of the Championships, but had little answer once Musetti zoned in as the 25th seed recorded a 4-6 6-3 6-3 6-2 triumph clinched by 1.06pm on Court Two.

It sent Musetti through to a maiden grand slam quarter-final and made it three Italians overall in the last eight at Wimbledon with Jannik Sinner and women’s seventh seed Jasmine Paolini progressing on Sunday.

Musetti, who will face American Taylor Fritz after he fought back from two sets down to dump out Alexander Zverev, said: “I have nothing to lose.

“I will go on court to play, to enjoy, and to try to enjoy my best, my first quarter-final.”