Wimbledon Championships 2017: Muller ousts Nadal

  • Wimbledon Championships 2017: Muller ousts Nadal

Wimbledon Championships 2017: Muller ousts Nadal

Nadal won two of his 15 Grand Slam championships at Wimbledon, and played in the final three other times, most recently in 2011.

"Well done to him".

The reason for that was an outstanding match between No. 4 Rafael Nadal and No. 16 Gilles Muller. The 34-year-old Muller is not exactly a giant-killer: He had lost 22 consecutive matches against players in the top five. He thumped his head on a ceiling while limbering up in a corridor before the start of play, appeared to turn his ankle slightly in the third set and was blinded by the sinking sun glinting against part of the Court One structure deep in the fifth set as he desperately tried to fight Muller off.

Early in the final set, Nadal and Muller engaged in a thrilling rally that ended with Nadal firing a well-placed backhand down Muller's left side.

Nadal saved two match points in the 10th game, another in the 20th and hovered eight times only two points from defeat. The Djokovic-Mannarino fourth-rounder was postponed until Tuesday; it had been scheduled for No. 1 Court after Nadal-Muller concluded. But Nadal deflected those initial two match points for Muller with an ace and a service victor.

The Taiwanese-Romanian duo saved five of nine break points and converted six of 13, taking advantage of their opponents' eight double faults to advance to a quarter-final against Catherine Bellis of the U.S. and Marketa Vondrousova of the Czech Republic, who ousted Ukrainian duo Lyudmyla Kichenok and Lesia Tsurenko 6-4, 6-2 in 71 minutes. This was not all; Nadal even gave a few autographs on his way out. I fell in love with grass pretty quickly.

The fifth set alone lasted 2 hours, 15 minutes, until Nadal pushed a forehand long, meaning he would not manage to complete what would have been his fourth career comeback from two sets down. I just told myself keep it up and if it's not happening, he's just too good.

"I'm really struggling to believe this", Muller said. It's a great feeling. "When you're too rich to put your own trash in the trash can right next to you", " I can dive for tennis balls all day long, but this garbage is too far away ", " I want someone who puts the waste in the garbage at my place!". I was anxious it was going to be over pretty soon.

"In the beginning I had no clue what to do but after that I got to the junior final (at Wimbledon)".

Muller was watched by a VIP fan in the shape of Prince Felix of Luxembourg, second in line to the country's throne. We know each other.

"Just tried to hang in there", Muller said.