LONDON, July 10, (AFP): Defending champion Andy Murray reached a 10th successive Wimbledon quarter-final Monday as fellow heavyweights Roger Federer, joined him.
Top seed Murray eased to a 7-6 (7/1), 6-4, 6-4 win over France’s Benoit Paire, who was trying to make the last eight for the first time at a tournament he once described as greatly “displeasing” him.
World number one Murray will face Sam Querrey, who he leads 7-1 in career meetings, for a place in the semi-finals. Only Roger Federer and Jimmy Connors (11 each) have reached more consecutive Wimbledon quarter-finals than Murray.
The 30-year-old’s progress is particularly noteworthy as he came into the tournament nursing a hip injury.
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.
Meanwhile, Rafael Nadal suffered fresh Wimbledon misery on Monday as the two-time champion crashed to a stunning 6-3, 6-4, 3-6, 4-6, 15-13 fourth round defeat against Luxembourg’s Gilles Muller.
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.
The 31-year-old Spaniard, finally worn down by Muller after four hours and 48 minutes on Court One, hasn’t won Wimbledon since 2010 and last made the quarter-finals in 2011.
Muller, seeded 16th, will make his first Wimbledon quarter-final appearance against former US Open champion Marin Cilic. Querrey, the US 24th seed who knocked out Novak Djokovic in 2016, made the quarter-finals for a second successive year with a 5-7, 7-6 (7/5), 6-3, 6-7 (13/11), 6-3 over unseeded Kevin Anderson of South Africa.
Croatian seventh seed Marin Cilic reached a fourth successive Wimbledon quarter-final with a 6-2, 6-2, 6-2 win over Roberta Bautista Agut of Spain.
Cilic, the 2014 US Open champion, will look to reach his first semi-final at the All England Club when he faces Nadal or Muller.
The day’s other last-16 matches feature eighth seed Dominic Thiem, looking to become just the second Austrian man to reach the quarters, facing 2010 runner-up Tomas Berdych.
Roger Federer reached his 50th Grand Slam quarter-final and 15th at Wimbledon on Monday with a 6-4, 6-2, 6-4 win over Grigor Dimitrov.
Seven-time Wimbledon champion Federer will face Canada’s Milos Raonic, sixth seed, for a place in the semi-finals.
Raonic defeated Federer in the semi-finals at Wimbledon in 2016.
Federer, 35, is also the second oldest man to make the quarter-finals at Wimbledon behind Ken Rosewall who was 39 when he reached the last-eight in 1971. “I’m thrilled to be back in the quarters again,” said Federer who took his record over Dimitrov to 6-0.
“It’s very special to be in a 15th quarter-final here.”
Raonic, the 2016 runner-up, reached the Wimbledon quarter-finals on Monday with a 4-6, 7-5, 4-6, 7-5, 6-1 win over Alexander Zverev of Germany.