It was a perfect script, a script that Nadal has flourished on all through his playing career. 2 sets to love down against a big server, Nadal fought his way back through, hitting those delicious passing shots and coming up with the goods whenever pegged back to the wall.
The fifth set was meant to be Nadal’s, it was just all to familiar. But Muller wasn’t going away, he had lost 26 times to top 5 players, and was desperate to break the deadlock.
Muller though refused to win, and Nadal refused to lose. The deadlock was kind of funny, but exhilarating. Finally Muller found that killer instinct in him, and pushed aside Rafa to reach the last 8 of Wimbledon. Rafa looked devastated but was gracious in defeat, up until the press conference.
The post match press-conference brought out the grumpy side of Rafa Nadal. He did look frustrated in the match as well, constantly questioning the umpire in the fifth set(when he had no challenges left).
But in the press conference, he let lose. He questioned the court allotment, as Federer and Murray hadn’t played even one match outside of Centre Court.
“Someone has to play on Centre, and it’s almost always the same players here. This is the reality. Here, there are many of us who have won a lot in our careers, who have a lot of important history behind us.
“A tournament that wants to be as traditional and as special as Wimbledon has to distribute the number of matches scheduled on Centre Court and that not always the same people play there, and when there are doubts, the others are sent to other courts.” Nadal said
Nadal then reflected on his defeat, saying that he couldn’t think of much positives from it, except that he was playing better than the previous few years.
“I lost in the fourth round. That’s not the result that I was expecting,” Nadal said.
“I didn’t want to lose that match. So it is tough to analyse that in a positive way right now.
“I played better than other years, true. At the same time I was ready for important things, so I lost an opportunity.” he added.
Federer, on the other hand was thankful for another showing at the Centre Court.
“Playing here on Monday on Centre Court I feel very privileged because I know they could have easily put Rafa or Novak or another women’s match on centre court today,” Federer said. “But they chose to put me instead as well so I’m very happy. It helps maybe to have played so well here over the years and I try to pay it back by trying to play good tennis and hopefully exciting the crowd.” he said.