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Wimbledon: another superstar bows out
After Stan Wawrinka's departure in the early stages of Wimbledon, on Monday No 4 seed Rafael Nadal crashed out. Only Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic and No 1 seed Andy Murray are left of the over-30s to try and grab the ultimate tennis crown.
The biggest Wimbledon surprise until now had been the defeat of Rafael Nadal against Luxembourger Gilles Muller in a five-sets, 6-3, 6-4, 3-6, 4-6, 15-13, just after defending champion Andy Murray and seven-time winner Roger Federer did manage to make it into the the last-eight.
The match lasted four hours and 48-minute and the extended time forced the clash between Novak Djokovic against France's Adrian Mannarino to be played one day later.
That 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.
"It was not my best match against a very uncomfortable opponent," said world No 2 Nadal, the 2008 and 2010 champion.
"Well done to him. He played great, especially in the fifth set but I fought to the last ball."
Meanwhile, defending champion Murray reached a 10th successive Wimbledon quarter-final with a 7-6 6-4, 6-4 win over Benoît Paire from France.
Murray will now battle Sam Querrey for a place in the semi-finals.
"I thought I played well,” he says in a post-match interview.
“Maybe a couple of sloppy service games in the first set but that was by far the best I'd hit the ball so far in the tournament. So I'm really pleased with that."
Only Federer and Jimmy Connors have reached more consecutive Wimbledon quarter-finals than Murray with 11 each.
The Swiss star will now face Milos Raonic, the 2016 runner-up. The Canadian sixth seeded had a tough battle against German Alexander Zverev but managed to beat him in five sets 4-6, 7-5, 4-6, 7-5, 6-1.
Raonic defeated Federer in the semi-finals at Wimbledon in 2016.
Federer, 35, is 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