Tuesday, 11 July 2017

Muller beats Nadal in classic

The round of sixteen was clearly highlighted by the almost five hour classic between fourth seed Rafa Nadal and sixteenth seed Gilles Muller.
Muller is 34 but hadn't won a title on the ATP tour until Sydney this year.
He added the Ricoh Open in s-Hertogenbosch recently and now has the scalp of Nadal at Wimbledon, seeing him in the quarter finals for the first time.

After winning the opening two sets, Muller could expect a comeback from the twice Wimbledon champ and it came without a significant drop in the standard of Muller's contribution.  It was Nadal giving his best and at two sets apiece most pundits were writing Muller's exit story.

Serving first in the final set, however, was an advantage too good to abuse, and Muller held serve a lot easier than Nadal.  Once 4-5 was reached, the Spaniard was constantly under pressure to stay in the match, because Muller was rarely in trouble on serve.  Indeed Rafa saved two match points to level at 5-5.

No breaks of serve and the key game was number 19 where Muller saved four break points, making fourteen of sixteen for the match.  Finally it was Nadal who wilted and the match was Muller's 6-3 6-4 3-6 4-6 15-13.

Organisers made a ridiculous decision not to move the Novak Djokovic v Adrian Mannarino match to Centre Court which was vacant, knowing that the Nadal / Muller match would finish too late for it to be contested on Court One.
Pathetic excuses were offered but the result is that the winner of this match will now have one day less than others to recover after he has played his fourth round match.

Murray, Federer and Cilic all rolled through with no problems, while Raonic, Berdych and Querrey all took five sets to overcome A.Zverev, Thiem and Anderson respectively.

Quarter finals will see:

Murray v Querrey 
Muller v Cilic
Raonic v Federer
Berdych v winner of Djokovic and Mannarino 

The women's fourth round matches were interesting but the best match was Angie Kerber (1) v Garbine Muguruza (14).
A high standard throughout, the top seed managed to return the Spanish serve with enough smarts to grab the first set.
Muguruza struck back immediately and levelled the match, attacking all the way.  Both women were hitting the ball with great authority, creating a hot spectacle.

Set three saw an unusual series of service breaks from games 3-6.  Muguruza stemmed this trend and games went with serve until 4-5, Kerber under pressure to hold.
Kerber wasted three game points and lost serve and the match.
Muguruza attacked all the time and it paid off.
55 winners to 27, net points won 35 to 5.

Form player Elina Svitolina lost out to Roland Garros champ Jelena Ostapenko in straight sets, and Aga Radwanska also left without taking a set off Sveta Kuznetsova.
Coco Vandeweghe upset Caroline Wozniacki, who still cannot find a way past Wimbledon's round of sixteen which she has reached six times.

Local hope Johanna Konta scraped past Caroline Garcia, and Simona Halep ended the fairytale run of Vika Azarenka.
Venus Williams was too experienced for Ana Konjuh, and in the unseeded clash Magdalena Rybarikova survived a three setter against Petra Martic.

Quarter finals are:

Muguruza v Kuznetsova
Rybarikova v Vandeweghe 
Williams v Ostapenko 
Konta v Halep 

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