Nadal Crashes Out of Wimbledon to Muller in Classic

The first casualty of the big 4 at Wimbledon this year is Nadal who was ironically looking the best of the big 4 in the first week. This is why first-week form means very little and why the real tournament begins in the second week. That is when the real favorites play their best.

Muller’s 6-3, 6-4, 3-6, 4-6, 15-13 victory in 4h47min over Nadal today was easily the best match of the tournament so far though and surely one of the best Wimbledon 4th rounds ever. There was great drama and when Nadal leveled at two sets all you thought he would get the job done.

Especially after Muller blew 4 match points. That is usually the situation in which Nadal excels. But this is grass and Nadal have not been past the 4th round at Wimbledon since 2011. So much for all the hype after Nadal’s French Open title and now he can’t get back to #1 after Wimbledon either.

Nadal just isn’t a very good fast court player and grass isn’t even fast anymore compared to the 90s. So all credit to Muller for getting the job done after missing so many chances and having so much reason to get despondent. Credit to Nadal as well for the way he bravely fought. I really thought he would prevail in those circumstances but Muller just kept a poker face and finally broke the deadlock.

Muller is almost 35 years old now and is playing the best tennis of his life. Nadal’s serve improved a lot and he served 23 aces in the match which is a personal best for him. He is an infinitely better mover and athlete than Muller but this is not clay so, in the end, Muller’s big lefty serves and volleys triumphed.

Nadal was also 2/16 on break points which didn’t help his cause. But again it is grass and it is a little harder to break serve against a big server than on clay. This result is a good break for Cilic who will face a tired Muller next after beating Agut with ease.

  • Elsewhere in the Draw

Murray had a straight-set win over Paire and will play Querrey next who defeated Anderson in five sets. In the bottom half, Federer had an easy 6-4, 6-2, 6-4 win over Dimitrov which is pretty pitiful from Dimitrov but Federer seems to have raised his game which again proves that the first week means little.

He will play Raonic next who defeated Zverev in five sets. That’s a good effort from Raonic who defeated Federer in last year’s Wimbledon semis in that classic match. I don’t see any way in which he will repeat that result this time, however. Federer is playing much better this year.

Then Berdych also defeated Thiem in five sets which is a good result for Berdych given his recent struggles.

Finally, because of the long match between Muller and Nadal on Court 1 Djokovic’s match against Mannarino got postponed until tomorrow. Now they will be first on Center Court instead of last on Court 1. I think they could have moved Djokovic to Center Court when Federer and Dimitrov finished.

Djokovic seems to get screwed over a lot. It already seemed unfair that he and Nadal were on Court 1 for the second time while Federer and Murray have played all their matches on Center Court. And now he must play two days in a row again.

I’m not complaining because now there is tennis I can watch tomorrow and I don’t think it will affect Djokovic negatively anyway. At least his draw has been easy and if he wins he faces Berdych who he owns 25-2. He also gets to play his next match on Center Court and at a better time. I don’t think it helps to look at the negative side of things and I don’t think Djokovic does either.

If he defeats Mannarino and Berdych he will arrive in the semis in the same condition had he played his match today. A similar thing happened at the 2016 French Open and we all know how that turned out. So I am looking forward to the match tomorrow to see if Djokovic can improve once again.

  • Highlights

Posted in Grand Slams, Wimbledon.

16 Comments

  1. Gilles Muller toughts in 5th set:
    ” If I remember well, there is a journeymen who recently won his fourth matche in a row vs. Rafa . Maybe it is time for me to repeat what I did 12 years ago on Wimbledon’s grass? “

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Haha, nice. Who was the journeyman?

    [Reply]

    rahan Reply:

    Some hints:
    the journeyman is a top 100 player , a thirty-five years old player and a father to twins for the second time ,,,

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    You think Federer is a journeyman?

    [Reply]

  2. Hey Ru-an. Nice thoughts. Here are mine.
    1) The biggest or perhaps tied for biggest news is the Nadal loss. I am personally not that shocked because Nadal has struggled at Wimbledon since 2011 (And Muller has been playing fantastic on grass). I’m never happy to see a player lose but at least this result will stop all the hype around Nadal for a few weeks. (Some fans are crazy. Just because he wins Roland Garros, everyone assumes he’s going to sweep all big tournaments the rest of the year. The same can be said about Fedfans in regard to Roger’s Australian Open title) Nadal still has the tendency to venture way back behind the baseline to return serve. This puts him at a disadvantage immediately unless he produces an amazing return. He needs to adjust his court positioning.
    2) The other big news is the postponement of the Djokovic-Mannarino match. It’s good to see that you are looking at this situation from a glass half full point of view. Although, I would understand if Djokovic and Mannarino fans are furious. This situation was easily avoidable but the tournament was either too incompetent or they had ulterior motives. This needs to be investigated (Someone needs to be reprimanded). Center Court was available and could have been made ready in under an hour. Wimbledon deserves all the negative press it gets. I Also don’t want to hear Wimbledon use safety as an excuse. I’d rather them say sorry, we messed up.
    3) Although his schedule sucks, I don’t see Novak having too much difficulty with Mannarino or Berdych.
    4) Personally, I think we are headed toward a Murray v Cilic and Federer v Djokovic semifinals. Let me know what you think.

    [Reply]

    bartelbe Reply:

    I think you miss the point about Nadal, he is a clay court specialist and that is what makes his record outside those events so remarkable. He hasn’t got the game for other surfaces, but he still wins. He is an example to the rest of the field who can’t be bothered to work on their weaknesses.

    As for the courts, Murray is always going to be on centre. Current champion, British number one, world number one. Plus Federer is very popular and is the player most want to see. You can’t expect the organisers to know which match will turn into a 5 set epic.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Good to see you agree that Nadal is a clay court specialist.

    The fact that Nadal’s match turned into a 5-set epic is even more reason the organizers should quit their biased nonsense. Djokovic vs Mannarino was also way more entertaining today than that Federer vs Dimitrov snore fest.

    [Reply]

    Sttyre Reply:

    I don’t expect the organizers to know which match turns into a 5 set epic but I do expect them to be ready in case it does happen. Tournaments should always prepare for the worse case scenario. After the conclusion of the Federer match, they should have considered the possiblity that Djokovic and Mannarino go 5 sets ( i know very unlikely). If this happens there was no way that match was going to finsish on court 1 (even if Nadal – Muller concluded sooner).

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    1) Exactly. It’s great to see the Nadal hype die. Now if Djokovic can take out Federer to let the Federer hype die it would be the perfect tournament, but he was struggling with an injury again today. I am usually wrong as far as Nadal goes and I stayed true to that by predicting Nadal will make the final. I knew he had a tough draw and by predicting him to make the final I thought I may just jinx him. Glad that worked out.
    2) I agree that Wimbledon was at fault. Don’t get me wrong. I just know Djokovic can’t afford to dwell on the negatives and he doesn’t. So while fans often idolize a player to extremes they are not exactly emulating the player’s behavior. But that’s fine. Someone has to get on Wimbledon’s case about it.
    3) Unless the arm injury comes back which may be Djokovic’s fault, to begin with for not taking a long enough break to recover from his exploits in 2015-16.
    4) I agree but things are uncertain now with Djokovic’s old injury problem vs Mannarino.

    [Reply]

  3. Wimbledon organizer are already using the “safety” excuse for not putting the Nole/Mannarino match on center right after the Federer/Dimitrov match. My opinion: Hogwash! They knew perfectly well that they were never going to be able to finish the match on the same day anyway, because court 1 doesn’t have floodlights. It was very intentional, very premeditated and again they manage to screw Nole once more. My only hope it that it backfires and Nole lifts this trophy on Sunday… under their biased noses.

    [Reply]

    bartelbe Reply:

    Load of rubbish, every player gets a bad draw or poor luck with the scheduling. The proper with tennis fans, this includes fans of all players. Is they think there is conspiracy against their player.

    Luck has allot to with winning a big event, luck of draw, luck with injuries, luck with match scheduling and weather. It has always been that way and affects every player. That is just the nature of the beast.

    [Reply]

    Lynsey Adams Reply:

    It’s not a load of rubbish. They want a Fed-Murray final, which was what they tried to engineer last year, except Raonic got in the way. Give me an example of the last time Federer had ‘poor luck’ with the scheduling – I think you may have to go back some years to before Djokovic became a real threat. Even when Djokovic was No1 and defending champion he was put on Court 1 and had to play over two days in the rain, and yippee, he lost.. Of course he may have lost anyway, but I don’t recall this ever happening to Federer at Wimbledon, at least in recent years.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    I agree.

    [Reply]

    Gilbert Reply:

    Djokovic tomorrow on Court 1 again! So is Cilic. The Giants on Centre. It is a Joke.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Terrible.

    [Reply]

  4. Of course it is a tried disadvantage of Djokovic. He has adapted himself to the match. However, it always was in such a way.
    It is tried to realise with all means a final between Federer and Murray. No more and no less. That’s all.

    [Reply]

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