Hubert Hurkacz out of Wimbledon after two dives and a knee injury

Hubert Hurkacz, the No 7 seed and former Wimbledon semi-finalist, has been dramatically forced out of the tournament — suffering a knee injury after diving for a volley, compounding it by diving for another, and then retiring when down match point.

Hurkacz, with his huge serve and run to the final in Halle two weeks ago, was considered an outsider for the Wimbledon title this year. On Thursday he was up against the young Frenchman Arthur Fils in the second round on Court 2, and was trailing two sets to one but on the verge of levelling the match in the fourth set tie-break when he suffered the injury.

A couple of points later, despite trying to play on a clearly injured knee, Hurkacz was forced to concede defeat with his opponent one point from victory.

The injury happened with the tie-break level at 7-7, and Hurkacz having saved a match point on his serve at 6-7.

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Hurkacz draws Fils towards the net with a drop shot

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And the Frenchman responds with a forehand that forces Hurkacz to hit a dive volley

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Hurkacz tries to get up as Fils hits his next shot into the net to give his opponent, who he had earlier led by two sets to love, a set point at 8-7

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Hurkacz collapses in pain and throws his racquet away; Fils collapses in disappointment at losing the point

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Knowing he’s done something straight away, Hurkacz looks over at his box

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Fils crosses over the net to check on his stricken opponent

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And helps him to his feet

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After receiving lengthy treatment, Hurkacz tries to play on despite being in obvious pain — desperate to win a point that would seal him the set. After hobbling around hitting a few shots, he comes into the net to try and end the point quickly — and almost unbelievably ends up diving again. This time though, Fils’ passing shot flies past him

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By this point, the whole thing has become painful and a bit surreal to watch. Hurkacz is clearly not well enough to play and his attempts to do so have a touch of the “Tis but a scratch” Black Knight from Monty Python and the Holy Grail. After losing the next point to fall down match point at 9-8, Hurkacz begins to walk to the net. 

Fils had won the first two sets before Hurkacz rallied in the third, the score standing at 7-6(2), 6-4, 2-6, 6-6 (9-8) when the Pole retired.

At the time of writing, there was no news on the severity of the injury, but everyone in tennis will be hoping that there is a quick recovery time for the genial Hurkacz. As things stand, he is scheduled to represent Poland at the Paris Olympics which start later this month.

It’s the second Grand Slam in a row that Hurkacz has exited in strange circumstances — following his defeat to Grigor Dimitrov at the French Open in June when he asked if the umpire could be substituted mid-match.

For Fils, who was so close to winning outright but ultimately did so on a retirement, it’s a first Grand Slam third round and a first victory against a top-10 player at a major. He was clearly discomforted by what was happening in the closing stages, and struggled to put away Hurkacz in the final couple of points despite, or perhaps because of, his clearly impaired movement.

Fils, 20, will take on either Tomas Machac or Roman Safiullin in the third round on Saturday.

(Top photo: Mike Hewitt / Getty Images)

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