Yesterday was ‘Manic Monday’ – the traditional second Monday at Wimbledon. All of the ‘Big 4’ were to play their fourth round matches and the spectators enjoyed perhaps the most fruitful day of Slam tennis this year.
Roger Federer had it easy against Grigor Dimitrov. He finished the match in 97 minutes, reaching his 15th Wimbledon quarterfinal and 50th Grand Slam quarterfinal. Meanwhile, Andy Murray needed four sets to dispatch Benoit Paire to reach his ninth Wimbledon quarterfinal. But it was two-time Wimbledon champion Rafael Nadal’s day – and yet it wasn’t.
The Spaniard once again gave us a classic for the ages. All his trademark grit and gumption was on display as he went down in five enthralling sets against Gilles Müller. Earlier, the 35-year-old Luxemburg left hander had beaten a young Nadal in Wimbledon 2005 in four sets, before losing to him in 2011. Six years later, the two left-handers – one a grasscourt specialist and the other a claycourt legend – have given us a Grand Slam match for the ages. As a result, Novak Djokovic’s fourth round match against Adrian Mannarino had to be postponed to Tuesday. This means the Serb will have to play on consecutive days to reach his semifinal.
Here are some stunning stats from the blockbuster match on Court 1:
17 – Number of years Gilles Müller has played on tour as a professional ATP male singles player
22 – Müller’s losing streak against top-5 opponents before this match
28 – Number of consecutive Grand Slam sets won by Nadal before he lost his first set against Müller on Monday
(Only Roger Federer (36) and John McEnroe (35) had longer streaks.)
2 – Number of Slam quarterfinals Muller has reached in these years
(This was only his second, after US Open 2008 as a qualifier, where he eventually lost to Roger Federer. He had beaten No. 5 seed Nikolay Davydenko in the fourth round.)
2 – Number of ATP titles won by Müller in his career
(Both of them have come in 2017 in Sydney and Netherlands.)
4 – Match points saved by Nadal in the fifth set
5 – Number of break points saved by Müller in the fifth set
9 – Number of times Nadal went 0-15 down in the fifth set before fighting back to win his service game
288 – Number of minutes this fourth round epic lasted for
(The only other time Nadal has played a 288-minute match at Wimbledon was in 2008. It was called “the greatest tennis match ever played” – the final against Roger Federer, which Nadal won 9-7 in the fifth set in fading light.)
125 – Average length of the Wimbledon men’s tennis matches this season
135 – Length of the fifth set between Nadal and Müller
95 – Number of winners for Müller, with 52 unforced errors
77 – Number of winners for Nadal, with only 17 unforced errors
198 – Number of points won by Nadal in the match
2 – Number of times Nadal has won the French-Wimbledon double
2 – Number of matches Nadal has lost in total since the end of April
(He has won four titles out of six tournaments.)
2 – Number of break points Nadal converted in this match
16 – Muller’s seed at Wimbledon
(This is the first time since 2012 that Nadal has lost to a player seeded inside the top 20.)
For Wimbledon's all-time stats, click here.