Two-time champion Rafael Nadal was knocked out of Wimbledon after losing to Luxembourg’s Gilles Muller in a mammoth five-set match at the All England Lawn Tennis Club.
The Spaniard, a 15-time Grand Slam winner, came from two sets down to level the match, but was ultimately beaten 3-6, 4-6, 6-3, 6-4, 13-15 by the 16th seed after 4 hours and 48 minutes – the longest match of this year’s tournament so far.
Defeat ends Nadal’s hopes of winning back-to-back French Open and Wimbledon titles for a joint record third time.
“I’m tired,” Muller, who took a fifth match point to seal his victory, told BBC Sport.
“It was a long match – I was two sets up, I played well then Rafa stepped it up and then it was a big battle.
“I had match points and didn’t make them – it was getting tough and I was watching the sky thinking that would be over soon.
“Then in the last two match points I thought just give it a shot and go 100 percent.
“It’s a great feeling.”
Muller’s reward is a quarterfinal encounter with Croatia’s Marin Čilić, who eased to a 6-2, 6-2, 6-2 win over Spain’s Roberto Bautista Agut.
Defending champion Sir Andy Murray is also through to the last eight after defeating France’s Benoit Paire 7-6, 6-4, 6-4.
Next up for the Briton is a meeting with American Sam Querrey, a 5-7, 7-6, 6-3, 6-7, 6-3 victor at the expense of South Africa’s Kevin Anderson.
Seven-time champion Roger Federer booked a quarterfinal spot thanks to a comfortable 6-4, 6-2, 6-4 victory over Bulgaria’s Grigor Dimitrov.
The Swiss will go onto face Milos Raonic in the quarterfinals after the Canadian downed Germany’s Alexander Zverev 4-6, 7-5, 4-6, 7-5, 6-1.
The other quarterfinal pits Czech Republic’s Tomas Berdych against either Serbia’s Novak Djokovic or France’s Adrian Mannarino.
Berdych came through a five-set match against Austria’s Dominic Thiem, triumphing 6-3, 6-7, 6-3, 3-6, 6-3.
Djokovic and Mannarino are due to play their fourth-round match tomorrow.
In the women’s singles event, Spain’s Garbine Muguruza beat top seed Angelique Kerber of Germany 4-6, 6-4, 6-4 to reach the quarterfinals.
Awaiting the 14th seed is Russia’s Svetlana Kuznetsova, who defeated Poland’s Agnieszka Radwańska 6-2, 6-4.
Defeat for Kerber means she will lose her world number one ranking as she had needed to reach final to have a chance of retaining top spot.
Romania’s Simona Halep will replace Kerber as world number one if she reaches the semifinals.
Halep overcame Belarus’ Victoria Azarenka 7-6, 6-2 today.
Standing between her and a place in the last four is Johanna Konta, who becomes the first British woman since Jo Durie in 1984 to reach the quarterfinals of Wimbledon with a 7-6, 4-6, 6-4 win over France’s Caroline Garcia.
Five-time champion Venus Williams moved into the quarterfinals with a routine 6-3, 6-2 win over Croatia’s Ana Konjuh.
The 37-year-old American, seeded 10th, will take on French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko of Latvia in the last eight.
Ostapenko beat fourth seed Elina Svitolina of Ukraine 6-3, 7-6.
Slovakia’s Magdaléna Rybáriková, ranked 87th in the world, qualified for her first Grand Slam quarterfinal with a 6-4, 2-6, 6-3 victory over Croatia’s Petra Martic.
Rybáriková next goes up against American Coco Vandeweghe, who beat former world number one Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark 7-6, 6-4.
By Daniel Etchells
Republished with permission from insidethegames.biz.