Wimbledon strawberries for NHS birthday celebrations

Ahead of the NHS’s 72nd birthday celebrations, the AELTC is saying thank you with a donation of 200 punnets of Wimbledon strawberries per day to NHS staff and frontline workers in London.

The men play for Wimbledon’s pineapple

They make their appearances over the final weekend of The Championships and are highly prized - the five Wimbledon Trophies, one of which proudly displays an unlikely pineapple on the top - but, sadly, will not be on show this year.

Serbian Prime Minister, Gomez and Tipsarevic enter the debate

The fall out of the Adria Tour continues as many struggle to find someone to lay the blame on. In the main that someone is Novak Djokovic who led the campaign for this mini circuit and as it has been repeatedly said, his intentions were good and it had the backing of...

Watson joins Progress Tour Women’s Championships field

Heather Watson has accepted a wildcard and will compete alongside GB Fed Cup teammates Harriet Dart and Katie Boulter at next month’s £30,000 Progress Tour Women’s Championships at the National Tennis Centre.

Wimbledon’s green grass of home

The courts at Wimbledon are lush and green but absent are the world’s best players, who should be completing the first round of matches today had The Championships not been cancelled because of the coronavirus pandemic.

It’s the ‘doughnut’ versus the ‘rat’

Nick Kyrgios and Boris Becker have got themselves embroiled in a major bust-up over Alexander Zverev’s recent escapade, namely caught on video partying after the cancellation of the Adria Tour which left a number of players and staff testing positive for the Covid-19...

Murray Trophy – Glasgow 2020 postponed

The Murray Trophy, an ATP Challenger tournament scheduled for 13-20 September at the Scotstoun Leisure Centre in Glasgow, has been postponed until 2021 due to the enforced suspension of professional tennis because of the Coronavirus pandemic, and the subsequent...

So quiet at Wimbledon on Day 1

Monday should have been the first day of The Championships at Wimbledon but, because of the coronavirus pandemic, it is cancelled for the first time since World War II.

How Louise Hunt has coped with lockdown

While Grand Slams try to come to terms with their own immediate futures, and players remain both divided and undecided about the wisdom of returning to the game too soon, spare a thought for our wheelchair players, all of whom have suffered the same lockdown...

Tsitsipas tops UTS league as Thiem moves up

Stefanos ‘The Greek God’ Tsitsipas jumped back to the top of the Ultimate Tennis Showdown standings on Sunday after cruising past Alexei ‘The Sniper’ Popyrin, 4-0: 17-12, 20-9, 19-8, 15-16, while Dominic ‘Domi’ Thiem moved into the automatic qualification after...
Tennis News, Tennis Results, Live Tennis Scores & Interviews

Wimbledon Day 7 | Nadal crashes out in a classic match

‘Manic Monday’ is the apt description to cover the first day of the second week of The Championships. Not only are all the fourth round singles played, that is in both the men’s and women’s events – the only Grand Slam to do so – there are also a great number of doubles including mixed, and a plethora of junior matches to keep everyone on their toes.

Just tried to hang in there. Still kept believing. Yeah, somehow in the end, I made it. Gilles Muller

So while spectators arrived in great expectation, they didn’t realise that they were about to witness one of the epic Wimbledon encounters to bring Manic Monday to a conclusion – a match which lasted nearly five hours and saw the departure of one the most popular players on the circuit, Rafa Nadal.

It was an extraordinary match. The world number two seeded four at The Championships, just couldn’t get past the defences of the 16th seeded Gilles Muller, who stood his ground solidly throughout despite the repeated attacks from the Spaniard.

In turn he kept pushing Nadal to the brink of defeat but the former champion, renowned for his gritty determination, kept bouncing back, in the first instance recovering from a two set deficit!

The Mallorcan also overcame two match points in the 10th game of the fifth set, then another two in the its 20th game and with the light fading, he finally succumbed after a gruelling 4-hours and 48-minutes of tense, pulsating play, 6-3 6-4 3-6 4-6 15-13, to the disbelief of his opponent.

“I played with the right determination, right passion, right attitude, to win the match” Nadal said later, failing for a sixth year to reach the quarter-finals at Wimbledon

“Just tried to hang in there,” Muller admitted. “Still kept believing. Yeah, somehow in the end, I made it.”

For Nadal, who has suddenly rediscovered his form, especially on clay, it was a disastrous result but he has been unable to replicate his performance of 2011 when he made the final for the last time.

For the 34-year-old Muller, it wasn’t surprising that his reaction of disbelief and incredulity at the umpire calling the match in his favour, for it was only the second time in his career that he has reached the last eight at a grand slam. The previous occasion was a qualifier at the US Open back in 2008.

In addition his record against top five players has been miserable with 22consecutive losses against them.

On this occasion he never wavered from his battle plan, remained calm throughout with stoic demeanour despite Nadal continually thwarting him, especially on the match points. He served powerfully with Nadal unable to read it in the first half of the match, and adopted a serve and volley game which the 30-year-old Spaniard found uncomfortable.

Muller was determined not to let Nadal through

David Musgrove Photography

Nadal was certainly irritable. On his way to No1 court  waiting to go out into the arena, he hit his head while going through his usual pre-match preparations, jumping in the corridor. This time he struck his head on the doorway’s transom. He shrugged that incident off with a smile whilst he rubbed the bruise!

Referring to the incident later, Muller commented jokingly: “Maybe that’s why the first two sets I was winning quite easy. Maybe [he was] still a little bit feeling dizzy.”

As the match progressed, the sun slowly dropped down and at one stage, its rays reflected badly onto the court when Nadal was serving. He complained to the umpire  Ali Nill, who having descended from his perch and confirmed the problem, asked spectators to stand in front of the offending panel so that the match could continue.

It certainly wasn’t Nadal’s day. He lost the first two sets in just 75-minutes, Adjusting his game by standing a bit further back, he recovered to push Muller into that extraordinary fifth set which lasted two-hours and 15-minutes.

Nadal hit 23 aces to counter Muller’s 30. Muller though made 10 double faults to Nadal’s 2. Nadal also struck 77 winners and made 17 unforced errors

One of those double faults came when Nadal was serving and gave Muller two match points in the 10th game of the fifth. Nadal saved them with an ace and a service winner. Ten games later, Muller stood with two more opportunities to close out the match, but again Nadal struck back with a service winner and then forced a mistake from Muller, who shanked a return. On the final and fifth match point, Nadal pushed a forehand long to bring the match to conclusion.

“It was not easy to keep believing,” Muller said as he remembered those wasted opportunities.

“When you are in the fifth, against a player like him, (the outcome) just depends on a few balls,” Nadal said.

Now Muller, who also beat Nadal at Wimbledon in 2005, will get a much-needed chance to recover before facing 2014 U.S. Open champion Marin Cilic in Wednesday’s quarterfinals, the Croat having made the last eight for the fourth consecutive year with a comfortable and routine 6-2 6-2 6-2 win over Roberto Bautista Agut.

Cilic, who won the U.S. Open in 2014, has never before made the Wimbledon semi-finals and is now being considered the dark horse for the title as his confidence is growing. “It’s quite high, considering I’m playing really well last few weeks,” he said. “With all the parts of my game, really satisfied everything is working extremely good. The level is, I would say, quite solid.”

In the other matches, the top seed and defending champion Andy Murray, eased past Benoit Paire, a player who can produce unexpected results and for the first set, looked to be troublesome. However the Briton came through 7-6(1) 6-4 6-4and will face Sam Querry who survived the battle of the big servers when he beat Kevin Anderson of South Africa, 5-7 7-6(5) 6-3 6-7(1) 6-3.

In the bottom half, ‘Daddy’ Roger Federer gave ‘Baby Fed’ Grigor Dimitrov a tennis lesson as he dispatched the Bulgarian 6-4 6-2 6-4 and will now face last year’s finalist, Milos Raonic who in turn, defeated the fast rising youngster and future grand slam champion, Alexander Zverev4-6 7-5 4-6 7-5 6-1. Similarly Tomas Berdych put paid to Dominic Thiem’s aspirations 6-3 6-7(1) 6-3 3-6 6-3.

The Novak Djokovic match against the unseeded Adrian Mannarino was postponed  to Tuesday, a casualty to the lengthy Muller/Nadal match which it was due to follow.



Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.