Muller Outlasts Nadal in Wimbledon Epic

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Manic Monday at Wimbledon produced some highly entertaining and competitive matches as four went the full five-sets, including an epic four hour and 47 minute showdown between fourth-seed Rafael Nadal and 16th seed Gilles Muller.

In what was the tournament’s best match, the Luxembourg-native outlasted Nadal 6-3, 6-4, 3-6, 4-6, 15-13 in an instant classic. Muller had come out of the gates firing to build a two-sets-to-love lead, but the 15-time Grand Slam champion responded with two set victories of his own to set up a deciding fifth.

And the match was just getting started from there. Neither play was able to break serve so it continued past 6-6. But it seemed as if Muller had the edge the more the match went on, winning early points on Nadal’s service games while notching relatively routine holds on his end.

In the end, Muller was able to secure the break and wrap things up on his fifth match point when a Nadal forehand sailed long.

Muller, who was won more matches than anyone on grass so far this year, will play seventh-seed Marin Cilic. The former U.S. Open champion rolled past 18th seed Roberto Bautista-Agut 6-2, 6-2, 6-2 on Monday.

Defending champion and world number one Andy Murray pushed his way into the quarterfinals with a 7-6(1), 6-4, 6-4 win over France’s Benoit Paire. He committed just eight unforced errors and fired 25 winners to roll in straight sets.

Awaiting him in the quarterfinals is 24th seeded American Sam Querrey, who hung on for a 5-7, 7-6(5), 6-3, 6-7(11), 6-3 triumph over Kevin Anderson to reach the final eight for the second straight year.

“He obviously has a big serve. He goes for his shots. He’s a very aggressive player,” Murray said of Querrey. “Today, I played one or two service games in the first set that weren’t the best. Against him you can’t really afford that. He’s not an easy guy to break. When he’s ahead, he can serve well. He’s a good frontrunner. I’ll need to make sure I’m serving well and not letting him dictate too much.”

Last year’s runner-up Milos Raonic won the final two sets to complete a comeback against 10th seed Alexander Zverev, holding off the German 4-6, 7-5, 4-6, 7-5, 6-1. He draws Roger Federer, who advanced to his 50th Grand Slam quarterfinal with a 6-4, 6-2, 6-4 drubbing of 13th seed Grigor Dimitrov.

“Roger’s been the best player this year hands down,” said Raonic, who beat Federer in the semifinals here a year ago. “It’s not about six months or what not. It comes down to Wednesday and one day. I’ve got to try and find a way to be better on that day. It’s just about going there and trying to really put together a good match.”

Former finalist Tomas Berdych defeated eighth-seed Dominic Thiem 6-3, 6-7(1), 6-3, 3-6, 6-3 to book his spot in the quarterfinals. He will have to wait a day to find out who he will play, though, as the match between second-seed Novak Djokovic and Adrian Mannarino was pushed to Tuesday because of darkness.