Nadal loses to Muller in thriller

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Rafael Nadal missed Wimbledon last year with a wrist injury
Wimbledon 2017 on the BBC
Venue: All England Club Dates: 3-16 July Starts: 11:30 BST
Live: Coverage across BBC TV, BBC Radio and BBC Sport website with further coverage on Red Button, Connected TVs and app. Click for full times.

Rafael Nadal’s hopes of winning a third Wimbledon title are over for another year after an epic five-set defeat by 16th seed Gilles Muller of Luxembourg.

Spaniard Nadal, a 15-time Grand Slam champion, fought back from two sets down before Muller took a fifth match point to win 6-3 6-4 3-6 4-6 15-13.

It ended Nadal’s hopes of winning back-to-back French Open and Wimbledon titles for a joint-record third time.

Muller, 34, will play Croatia’s seventh seed Marin Cilic in the last eight.

“That was tough,” said Muller, who has reached his first Grand Slam quarter-final since the 2008 US Open.

“In the last two match points I just said give it 100%.”

Nadal, 31, was considered one of the favourites to win the men’s title after an excellent year in which he has reached the Australian Open final, losing to Roger Federer, and earned a record 10th triumph at Roland Garros.

But even his trademark competitiveness could not see off Muller in a gripping match that lasted for four hours and 47 minutes.

Both players received a standing ovation and rapturous applause after the longest – and arguably finest – match of this year’s tournament.

Nadal’s mental resilience and physical endurance has long been lauded, but the cool-headed Muller impressively refused to buckle as he finally claimed his fifth match point over an hour and a half after missing his first.

Nadal served out nine games to stay in the contest as the pair exchanged 32 holds in a gripping finale.

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.

Still the drama continued as Muller failed to convert two more match points at 10-9, until he earned the best win of his career by beating the world number two.

More to follow.

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