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.
— Cal (@Panayisalad) July 10, 2017
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.
“It’s the win of his life”
— Wimbledon (@Wimbledon) July 10, 2017
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.
— We Are Tennis (@WeAreTennis) July 10, 2017
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.