Late in his career and late in the day — the shadows long on the courts of Wimbledon — the tireless Gilles Muller finally got what he wanted.
An early exit for Rafael Nadal.
In a fourth-round match Monday that had the tennis world hanging on every point, Muller stubbornly outlasted one of the best players in the game, winning a 6-3, 6-4, 3-6, 4-6, 15-13 marathon.
There was a peculiar synchronicity to the 4-hour 48-minute odyssey. First, that was exactly as long as Nadal’s previous longest match at Wimbledon, when he beat Roger Federer in the 2008 final.
Adrian Mannarino, had to be postponed until Tuesday because of the dying daylight.
“I just felt like what I was doing was the right way, just had to be patient,” said Luxembourg’s Muller, 34, who might as well have been speaking about his entire career. He will play Croatia’s Marin Cilic on Wednesday.
It was the second time Muller advanced to a Grand Slam event quarterfinal, the first coming in the 2008 U.S. Open.