LONDON, (Reuters) – Fourth seed Rafael Nadal’s pursuit of a third Wimbledon crown was cut short in the fourth round with a heartbreaking 6-3 6-4 3-6 4-6 15-13 defeat by Luxembourger Gilles Muller.
Nadal, one of the pre-tournament favourites, fought back from two sets down and saved four match points in a 135-minute minute fifth set but ultimately buckled under the relentless pressure exerted by an inspired Muller.
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.
Big-serving Czech Tomas Berdych was also taken to five sets by Austrian Dominic Thiem, and awaits either Novak Djokovic or Frenchman Adrian Mannarino in the quarter-finals.
In the women’s draw, Johanna Konta defeated Caroline Garcia of France 7-6(3) 4-6 6-4 to become the first British woman to reach the Wimbledon quarter-finals since Jo Durie in 1984.
There was heartbreak for women’s top seed Angelique Kerber, who was knocked out by Spaniard Garbine Muguruza, while hard-hitting Latvian Jelena Ostapenko dispatched Elina Svitolina to reach the quarter-finals for the first time.
Dane Caroline Wozniacki, seeded fifth this year, was dumped out by American 24th seed Coco Vandeweghe, while Russia’s Svetlana Kuznetsova returned to the quarter-finals after a 10-year hiatus by beating Polish ninth seed Agnieszka Radwanska.
Veteran Venus Williams powered past Croatian rookie Ana Konjuh 6-3 6-2, but new mum Victoria Azarenka’s comeback hopes were dashed when she was beaten by second seed Simona Halep 7-6(3) 6-2.
Second seed Novak Djokovic’s fourth-round match against Frenchman Adrian Mannarino was moved to today. The duo were originally scheduled to start on Court One after Rafa Nadal’s clash with Gilles Muller.
Canadian Milos Raonic, the sixth seed, beat Germany’s Alexander Zverev 4-6 7-5 4-6 7-5 6-1 and will face Roger Federer in the quarter-finals.
Federer, the third seed, beat Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria 6-4 6-2 6-4 in just over an hour and a half.
Czech Tomas Berdych, the men’s 11th seed, beat eighth-seeded Austrian Dominic Thiem 6-3 6-7(1) 6-3 3-6 6-3 in a match lasting just under three hours.
Berdych will meet Frenchman Adrian Mannarino or second seed Novak Djokovic in the quarter-finals.
American Sam Querrey beat South Africa’s Kevin Anderson 5-7 7-6(5) 6-3 6-7(11) 6-3 to reach the quarter-finals, where he will face world number one Andy Murray of Britain.
Murray beat Frenchman Benoit Paire 7-6(1) 6-4 6-4 to reach the quarter-finals.
New mum Victoria Azarenka’s run at Wimbledon was halted by second seed Simona Halep of Romania, who beat the Belarusian 7-6(3) 6-2 to reach the quarter-finals.
Halep will face Britain’s Johanna Konta next.
Men’s seventh seed Cilic of Croatia beat Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut 6-2 6-2 6-2 to reach the quarter-finals.
Sixth-seeded Konta survived a fightback from France’s Caroline Garcia to reach the Wimbledon quarter-finals for the first time with a 7-6(3) 4-6 6-4 victory.
Konta is the first British woman to reach the last eight at Wimbledon since Jo Durie in 1984.
American Coco Vandeweghe, seeded 24th, beat fifth seed Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark 7-6(4) 6-4 to reach the quarter-finals.
Vandeweghe will face Slovakia’s Magdalena Rybarikova next.
Slovakia’s Rybarikova beat Croat qualifier Petra Martic 6-4 2-6 6-3 to reach the quarter-finals.
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.
Kuznetsova, the women’s seventh seed, beat Polish ninth seed Agnieszka Radwanska 6-2 6-4 to book her place in the quarter-finals.