Rafael Nadal‘s bid for the Wimbledon quarter-final was abruptly cut short as 34-year-old Gilles Mueller sent him packing.
The Luxembourg player outshined the French Open champion in one of the longest matches in the history of the tennis championship.
He took the first two sets 6-6 6-4 and Nadal came back forcefully to take the next two in a similar scoreline. The fifth set went into a tie-break, with Muller winning 15-13.
I haven’t really realised what just happened – it’s just a great feeling, Mueller said at the end of the marathon match, that lasted four hours, 48 minutes.
By defeating Nadal, Mueller booked a quarter-final place for the first time in his career.
The man from Luxembourg is a left-handed like Nadal and is known for his powerful serve, and his strong groundstrokes.
Class in defeat.
— Wimbledon (@Wimbledon) July 10, 2017
He turned pro in 2001 and had won two titles on the ATP Tour. His highest single ranking was 26 on 8 May.
In the 2005 Wimbledon, he also knocked out Nadal in the second round. That same year, he knocked out a former world number one Andy Roddick in the first round of the US Open.
Other qualifiers for the quarter finals are Marin Cilic, Andy Murray, Roger Federer, Tomas Berdych, Sam Querrey and Milos Raonic. The match between Novak Djokovic, seeded number 2 and Adrian Mannarino has been rescheduled for Tuesday.
In the ladies singles, first seed, German Angelique Kerber was beaten by Garbine Muguruza, while veteran Venus Williams survived into the quarter finals.
The other quarter-finalists are Svetlana Kuznetsova who beat Agnieszka Radwanska, Jelena Ostapenko, Magdalena Rybarikova, Johanna Konta, Coco Vandeweghe and Simona Halep who beat Belarussian Victoria Azarenka.