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Rediff.com  » Sports » Watch: Head-banging Nadal and his Monday blues

Watch: Head-banging Nadal and his Monday blues

July 11, 2017 12:21 IST

So by now we all know what has transpired at Court No 1 in Wimbledon on Monday.

Two-time champion at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, Rafael Nadal was outdone and ousted by Luxembourg’s Gilles Muller in a near-five hour battle after a 6-3, 6-4, 3-6, 4-6, 15-13 battle.

But the Spaniard’s rotten luck on the day started even before he stepped on court.

He thumped his head on a ceiling while limbering up in a corridor before the start of play. He did manage to pull off a grin after the incident but he could not hold on to that smile for too long.

After losing the first two sets 3-6, 4-3, he appeared to turn his ankle slightly in the third set, in which he fought back to win 6-3.

Spain's Rafael Nadal reacts during his fourth round match against Luxembourg's Gilles Muller at Wimbledon on Monday

IMAGE: Spain's Rafael Nadal reacts during his fourth round match against Luxembourg's Gilles Muller at Wimbledon on Monday. Photograph: David Ramos/Getty Images

In the deciding 5th set, Nadal was blinded by the sinking sun glinting against part of the Court One structure as he desperately tried to fight Muller off.

The 31-year-old Nadal fought back from two sets down and saved four match points in a 135-minute fifth set in which he successfully served to stay alive nine times.

34-year-old Muller came close to finishing the job sooner when he held two match points with the Spaniard serving at 4-5 in the fifth set, and another two at 9-10.

However, this was not to be Nadal’s day.

Muller let those opportunities slip by but held his nerve admirably to convert his fifth match point in the 28th game of the decider to seal a memorable win after four hours and 48 minutes on court.

Video courtesy: Wimbledon/Facebook

Rediff Sports Desk