Rafael Nadal‘s hopes of a first Wimbledon title since 2010 came to an end on day seven at SW19, as Luxembourg’s Gilles Muller stunned the second seed in a near five-hour classic.
15-time grand slam winner Nadal dropped his first sets of the tournament as he needed to battle from two sets down to force the last 16 encounter into an epic fifth, before Muller sealed a stunning 6-3 6-4 3-6 4-6 15-13 win with his fifth match point.
An unfazed 16th seed looked full of confidence as he stunned the crowd on Court Number One by taking a two-sets lead against the Spaniard, who struggled with the 6’4” left-hander’s serve.
However, Nadal came roaring back as he upped his game by hitting 11 winners to take the third set and a single break point once again in the fourth was enough for the 31-year-old to force a deciding set.
Nadal had to save two match points to level 5-5 in the fifth set and Muller again missed another two at 10-9, before he eventually sealed the biggest win of his career in the 28th game when Nadal sent the ball long.
However, there was to be no upset for defending champion Andy Murray, as the top seed reached the quarter-finals with a tough straight sets win against Frenchman Benoit Paire.
Two-time champion twice came from a break down to clinch the first set on a tie-break, before the Scotsman had to dig deep once again in the second by fending off four break points to move into a two set lead.
It was not the most convincing performance from Murray, but he scored the crucial break at 4-4 in the third set to help him into a tenth consecutive Wimbledon quarter-final in a 7-6 (7/1) 6-4 6-4 victory for the world number one.
Up next for the three-time grand slam champion is American Sam Querrey, as the 28th seed came from a set down to get the better of South African Kevin Anderson in five sets 5-7 7-6 (7-5) 6-3 6-7 (11-13) 6-3 to set up a last eight clash with Murray.
It was also a comfortable day at the office for 18 time grand slam champion Roger Federer, as he kept hopes of a first Wimbledon title since 2012 alive with a straight sets win over Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov.
The Australian Open champion was rarely threatened by the 13th seed, as the Swiss man raced to a 6-4 6-2 6-4 straight sets win to keep his bid for a record eighth Wimbledon title on track.
Last year’s beaten finalist Milos Raonic will face Federer for a spot in the semi-finals, as the Canadian twice came from behind to beat Germany’s Alexander Zverev by blitzing through the deciding set in a 4-6 7-5 4-6 7-5 6-1 victory.
11th seed Tomas Berdych got the better of Austria’s Dominic Thiem in another five-set match, as the 2010 Wimbledon finalist edged to a hard-fought 6-3 6-7 (1-7) 6-3 3-6 6-3 against the eighth seed.
It was a much easier route in the quarter-finals for Croatia’s Marin Cilic, as the former US Open winner is still yet to drop a set at Wimbledon after cruising to a 6-2 6-2 6-2 victory over 18th seed Roberto Bautista Agut.
On the women’s side of things, Garbine Murgurza kept her hopes of a second grand slam title alive, as the Spaniard came from a set down to claim victory in a tight contest against Angelique Kerber.
It was the German who took the opening set as the 14th seed made too many errors as an attempted backhand winner drifted wide to hand the break to Kerber, who sealed the first set by putting away a smash after an enthralling rally.
However, Muguruza began to find her feet in the second and while she missed a break mid-way through the set, she levelled the match on her second set point with a winner.
Former French Open champion Muguruza fought from 2-0 down to survive a ten-minute hold for 4-3 and while the world number one served her way out of two match points, Muguruza clinched it on the third to seal a thrilling 4-6 6-4 6-4 win.
Up next for the Spaniard is a quarter-final clash with Russia’s Svetlana Kuznetsova, who got the better of Poland’s Agnieszka Radwanska 6-2 6-4 to reach the last eight at Wimbledon for the first time in ten years.
Sixth seed Johanna Konta kept alive hopes of a first British female Wimbeldon champion in 40 years alive, as the 26-year-old overcame a tough last 16 test against Frenchwoman Caroline Garcia.
The British number one dominated a tie-break to take the first set after failing to serve out at 5-4, before 21st seed Garcia raced into a 5-1 lead in to the second and held off a Konta fight back to force the match into a deciding third set.
In a tight third set, Konta eventually broke down Garcia at 5-4 to seal a 7-6 (7/3) 4-6 6-4 win and become the first British woman to reach the last eight here since 1984, when Garcia smashed a forehand into the net.
There was to be no slip up by second seed Simona Halep, as the Romanian kept her hopes of a first grand slam title alive with a hard-fought win over Belarussian Victoria Azarenka.
Halep – who lost in the French Open final last month – could become world number one by reaching the semi-finals at SW19 and she kept that bid on track with a 7-6 6-2 win to progress to the quarter-finals.
Five-time champion Venus Williams remains on course for a first grand slam title in nine years, as the veteran American proved too strong for 19-year-old Ana Konjuh with a comfortable 6-3 6-2 win against the Croatian.
Williams will face French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko for a place in the semi-finals, as the Latvian stunned fourth seed Elina Svitolina 6-3 7-6 (8/6) to reach her first Wimbledon quarter-final.
American Coco Vandeweghe reached her second Wimbledon quarter-final, as the 24th seed ended Caroline Wozniacki’s hopes of a first major title with a 7-6 (7/4) 6-4 win against the Dane.
Slovakian Magdalena Rybarikova will face Vandeweghe in the last eight, as the 28-year-old continued her best grand slam performance by overcoming Croatian Petra Martic for a hard-fought 6-4 2-6 6-3 win.