Nadal knocked out of Wimbledon

Dhaka,  Thu,  21 September 2017
Published : 11 Jul 2017, 09:59:29 | Updated : 11 Jul 2017, 10:00:38
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Wimbledon 2017: Nadal crashes out to relentless Muller in 15-13 final set

BBC
Rafael Nadal's hopes of winning a third Wimbledon title are over for another year after an epic five-set defeat on Monday by the 16th seed Gilles Muller of Luxembourg.

The 15-time major champion fought back from two sets down before Muller took a fifth match point to win 6-3 6-4 3-6 4-6 15-13 in a marathon of four hours and 47 minutes.

It ended the Spaniard's bid to win back-to-back French Open and Wimbledon titles for a joint-record third time.

Muller, 34, will play Croatia's seventh seed Marin Cilic in the last eight.

"That was tough," said Muller, who has reached his first Grand Slam quarter-final since the 2008 US Open.

"In the last two match points I just said give it 100 per cent."

Even world number two Nadal's trademark competitiveness could not see off Muller in a gripping final set which took two and a quarter hours - more than half an hour longer than Roger Federer's win over Bulgarian 13th seed Grigor Dimitrov.

Novak Djokovic's match against unseeded Frenchman Adrian Mannarino, scheduled as the third match on Court One, was postponed until Tuesday as a result.

Former Wimbledon champion John McEnroe questioned the decision.

"Why didn't they put the Djokovic match on Centre Court? It was a golden opportunity to put a three-time champion there - the crowd would have loved that," he told the BBC Sport.

"You can't say the people on Court One didn't get their money's worth. It would have got everybody from Henman Hill running in."

The All England Lawn Tennis Club said moving the match from Court One would have created a "significant safety issue" because there were still 30,000 spectators inside the ground at 20:30 BST.

Both Nadal and Muller received a standing ovation and rapturous applause after the longest - and arguably finest - match of this year's tournament.

Nadal's mental resilience and physical endurance has long been lauded, but the cool-headed Muller impressively refused to buckle as he finally claimed his fifth match point over an hour and a half after missing his first.

Nadal served out nine games to stay in the contest as the pair exchanged 32 holds in a gripping finale.

A tense climax saw the Spaniard save two match points to level at 5-5 and miss four break points of his own at 9-9.

Still the drama continued as Muller failed to convert two more match points at 10-9, until he eventually completed the best win of his career.
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