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Journeyman Muller ousts Nadal

Federer, Murray maul rivals, reach quarters.

LONDON (AFP) – Rafael Nadal’s bittersweet relationship with Wimbledon endured another twist Monday when he was knocked out in a five-set, fourth round epic by Luxembourg journeyman Gilles Muller.

Nadal’s stunning 6-3, 6-4, 3-6, 4-6, 15-13 defeat came after defending champion Andy Murray and seven-time winner Roger Federer had cruised into the last-eight in straight sets.

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The four hour and 48-minute stunner on Court One had the knock-on effect of pushing Novak Djokovic’s last-16 clash against France’s Adrian Mannarino back to Tuesday.

Djokovic had been the last match scheduled on the court but officials chose to postpone the tie instead of shifting it to Centre Court where it could, if necessary, have been completed under lights.

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.

Nadal converted just two of 16 break points, while Muller fired 30 aces and 95 winners.

Muller, seeded 16th, will make his first Wimbledon quarter-final appearance against former US Open champion Marin Cilic on Wednesday.

In a pulsating final set, which stretched to 95 minutes, Nadal saved two match points in the 10th game and two more in the 20th.

Defending champion Murray reached a 10th successive Wimbledon quarterfinal with a 7-6 (7/1), 6-4, 6-4 win over France’s Benoit Paire.

World number one Murray will face Sam Querrey for a place in the semi-finals.

Only Federer and Jimmy Connors (11 each) have reached more consecutive Wimbledon quarterfinals than Murray.

Murray’s win meant that with Johanna Konta also making the last-eight in the women’s tournament, it is the first time since 1973 that Britain has two players in the quarter-finals.

Federer reached his 50th Grand Slam quarterfinal and 15th at Wimbledon with a 6-4, 6-2, 6-4 win over Grigor Dimitrov.

The Swiss star will now face Milos Raonic, the 2016 runner-up, after the sixth-seeded Canadian clinched a 4-6, 7-5, 4-6, 7-5, 6-1 win over Alexander Zverev of Germany, the 10th seed.

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