Published: Wed, July 12, 2017
Sport | By Billy Aguilar

Rafael Nadal Wasn't Happy With His Wimbledon Court Assignments

Rafael Nadal Wasn't Happy With His Wimbledon Court Assignments

Rafael Nadal kept getting pushed to the brink of defeat.

Chan Yung-jan and Hingis adopted a clever strategy by hitting their shots at an angle that forced one of Mirza or Flipkens to a corner, opening up the rest of the court, as the Taiwanese-Swiss duo, who have claimed the titles at Indian Wells, Rome, Madrid and Eastbourne this season, advanced to the quarter-finals without having dropped a set.

Only when his fourth-round match against 16th-seeded Gilles Muller of Luxembourg stretched past 4½ hours, the sunlight fading, did Nadal blink.

During a change-over in the thrilling match with Luxembourg's Gilles Muller - which Nadal eventually lost - the fourth seed shocked viewers when he took the lid off a drinks pouch and promptly handed it to the nearest ball boy.

But he could not pull through, extending his drought without a quarterfinal berth at the All England Club to six years. "The whole family likes tennis", said Muller.

"I played on Court 18 and 12 here this week and they were the slowest grass courts I've ever played on". I did twice, in the first and in the second.

Here is how the men did at Wimbledon on Monday, July 10. Finally, 7th-seeded Croatian Marin Cilic will be playing Gilles Muller. The 34-year-old Muller is trying to reach a Grand Slam for the second time in his career, and his first since the 2008 U.S. Open.

Nadal said Muller's powerful serve and crisp volleys make him "uncomfortable" to play.

The most-anticipated heavyweight matchup was 2016 Wimbledon finalist Milos Raonic taking on Rome champion Alexander Zverev. Today, 2nd-seeded Novak Djokovic beat Frenchman Adrian Mannarino 6-2, 7-6 (7-5), 6-4. But, he laughed it off and headed out in the court.

"Maybe that's why the first two sets I was winning quite easy", Muller joked.

After all, until Monday, Nadal hadn't lost a Grand Slam set since the fifth of the Australian Open final in January against Federer.

Just weeks after winning his 10th French Open title, Nadal was condemned to his fifth exit before the quarter- finals in his last five visits to Wimbledon. But Nadal deflected those initial two match points for Muller with an ace and a service victor. A tense climax saw the Spaniard save two match points to level at 5-5 and miss four break points of his own at 9-9.

One key: Nadal converted only 2 of 16 break points. Nadal rallied back from a two-sets deficit to force the fifth by serving up 23 aces, but it wasn't enough. He added, "I was two sets up, played really well and then Rafa stepped it up".

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