Nadal is out of Wimbledon, Federer and Murray are into the quarters
dpa Tuesday, July 11, 2017, 1:36 pm TWN
LONDON -- Roger Federer and Andy Murray kept bids for Wimbledon glory alive with fourth-round wins on Monday while Rafael Nadal was beaten in a marathon match by Gilles Muller.
Novak Djokovic's contest against Adrian Mannarino was unable to be played due to bad light and was re-set to Tuesday, when weather conditions could be dicey.
Nadal, a two-time champion, came back from two sets to love down against big-hitting Luxembourg veteran Muller but could not prevail in a struggle which took almost five hours, with the Spaniard losing 6-3, 6-4, 3-6, 4-6, 15-13.
The play-it-out fifth set decided Nadal's fate, with the fourth seed saving four match points.
A fifth chance for Muller proved to be decisive as Nadal put a return long to end it.
"He played well. Especially in the fifth, he played great," Nadal said. "I fought until the last ball, with the right attitude. it was probably was not my best match, but at the same time I played against a very uncomfortable opponent.
"I had my chances, and he had some mistakes, but not enough. Most of the time in the fifth he played more aggressive and better than me.
"I was a lot of times fighting against the score, Love-15, Love-30 too many times in the fifth. when you are in the situation too many times, the normal thing is finally you lose. That's what happened."
Muller said he faced some tough moments in the epic.
"It was not easy to keep believing. But on the other hand, I didn't have any regrets. I was playing well. If I would have lost that match, it obviously would have been very tough to digest. But I did everything right.
"It was tough to see the difference at the end," the shell-shocked winner said.
"I was looking at the sky and thinking that we would have to come back tomorrow; I'm glad it's over."
The win was a repeat of history for Muller, 34, ranked 26th on the ATP: in 2005 he won his only match against Nadal with another Wimbledon victory in the second round.
Federer dominated Grigor Dimitrov with a routine outing, his 6-4, 6-2, 6-4 result marking an 88th career victory at Wimbledon.
The Swiss third seed is working towards a record eighth trophy at the All England club; he improved to a perfect 6-0 over Dimitrov, with the Bulgarian winning a mere two sets overall.
Dimitrov was weighed down by more than 25 unforced errors while Federer kept his in low double figures.
"He gave me some chances and I was happy to take advantage," Federer said. "It was important for me to focus on my game and do the right things.
"Hopefully some good play from me matched up with some poor play from him.
"It was a terrific match for me. It was not as easy as it looked and I did not expect it to be that easy."
Federer will be playing a grand slam quarter-final for the 50th time, while competing at the last-eight stage at Wimbledon on the 15th occasion.
Andy Murray stepped up his title defence 7-6 (7-1), 6-4, 6-4 over Benoit Paire.
The top seed gave his French opponent minimal chances as Murray reached the last eight for the 10th year in succession.
"I've done a good job so far here. Today was by far the best I hit the ball, the cleanest I hit the ball. I was happy about that," Murray said.
"Last couple of days, practice has been really good. I definitely felt better today than my last match.
"That's positive moving into the last few days of the tournament."
Murray worked his way through in less than two and a half hours.
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