The match went all the way to the decisive fifth set (in which there is no tiebreak), and it took more than two hours to complete before finishing 15-13 in Muller's favour. I knew it was going to be maybe another 10, 15 more minutes maximum.
While viewed as a grasscourt specialist, he can be an awkward opponent with his fondness for old-school serve-and-volley play. And he's failed to make it to the quarterfinals for the past six years.
Don't forget: From 2006-11, he reached the final in five consecutive Wimbledon (he missed it in 2009 because of bad knees), winning titles in 2008 and 2010. "That's not the result I was expecting". Nadal then stormed back to win the next two 6-3, 6-4 as well. This one Nadal failed to save and he overhit it to give the set to Muller 15-13. Muller finished the match with 95 winners and 30 aces, while Nadal had 77 winners and 23 aces in the match.
"I did really well in the first two sets, then Rafa stepped it up".
Top seed Andy Murray and third seed Roger Federer both eased into the quarter-finals with straight sets wins, while last year's runner up Milos Raonic was pushed to the limit by German Alexander Zverev but ultimately prevailed 4-6 7-5 4-6 7-5 6-1. "He's playing at a high level".
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The main action at the All England Club has yet to start, but other matches on the outside courts are already being delayed by rain.
Nadal saved two match points in the next, and when he came out to serve for the 22nd game he complained to Nili about the reflection of part of the Court One stand - prompting the unusual sight of the umpire asking spectators to stand in front of it.
No male top seed has played outside Centre and Court One this century.
Caroline Wozniacki also bundled out 6-7 (4), 4-6 against the explosive Coco Vandeweghe, while Venus Williams, Johanna Konta and Simona Halep all kept their tournaments alive.
"I played well for moments, but I was a lot of times fighting against the score, too many times in the fifth", added the former world No. 1.
French Open champion Ostapenko beat Ukrainian Elina Svitolina, the women's fourth seed, 6-3 7-6 (6) to reach the quarter-finals of Wimbledon for the first time. Nadal has been unaffected by any of the lingering knee and wrist injuries that have derailed so much of his play in the past couple of years. The New York Times says Wimbledon "has come far in its attitude toward women but still needs to work on its scheduling". During that encounter, all other courts at Wimbledon were open, but still, that was not a good reason for the organizers to move the match and let Djokovic and Mannarino play. It was a heartbreaking blow for Nadal who arrived at the tournament fresh from a record-setting 10th French Open title with genuine belief that he could capture a third Wimbledon title and a 16th career major.