Schüttler staggers into Nadal's sights after epic win

Nobody who faces Rafael Nadal these days needs any softening up before the Spaniard is let loose to do his worst. But in an epic quarter-final that concluded here last night, Rainer Schüttler and Arnaud Clément beat the living daylights out of each other, and surely out of their stamina reserves as well before Germany's Schüttler emerged a five-set winner. He faces Nadal in the semis this afternoon.

Bad light had halted their match on Wednesday at one set apiece. By the time they trudged off court yesterday, they had traded multiple long rallies and umpteen breaks of serve in three more marathon sets. The final score read 6-3, 5-7, 7-6, 6-7, 8-6. The duration of the match, at five hours and 12 minutes, made it the joint second-longest in the history of the singles at the All England Club.

The longest was Greg Holmes' victory over Todd Witsken in five hours and 28 minutes in the second round in 1989. Yesterday's marathon was the same duration as Pancho Gonzales versus Charlie Pasarell in 1969 in the first round. Schüttler is contesting his 10th Wimbledon. He had never previously made it beyond the last 16, and with injuries hampering his career, he was knocked out in the first round on his last two visits. He had intended to be spending this week at a Challenger event in Cordoba.

"It could have gone both ways, I'm just happy to have made it through," said the 32-year-old lof his win. "It's definitely one of the matches I will always remember." Schüttler agreed that Nadal would have an advantage having completed his own last match on Wednesday but added: "He's pretty fit anyway, but I don't really care. I also work hard. I'm physically fit. I will get a massage and try to sleep early if possible to get enough hours of sleep. I'll be fine for the match." For the second year in succession Nadal will be facing a semi-final opponent potentially weakened by a marathon quarter-final. Twelve months ago, Novak Djokovic retired in the third set of his semi against the Spaniard exhausted by his five-hour quarter-final with Marcos Baghdatis.

In 2004 Clément featured in the longest match in Grand Slam history when he lost 16-14 in the final set to Fabrice Santoro in the first round of the French Open. The match lasted six hours and 33 minutes.

Yesterday the Frenchman, 30, incredibly saved six successive set points after falling 6-0 down in the third-set tie-breaker before losing it with a double fault, but he came back to claim the fourth set. Schüttler's biggest moment in singles to date was reaching the Australian Open final, beating Richard Krajicek, Marat Safin, James Blake, David Nalbandian and Andy Roddick on his way to a meeting with Andre Agassi, which he lost.

Schüttler joins Boris Becker and Michael Stich as the only German Wimbledon semi-finalists in the Open era. "I grew up watching Boris win Wimbledon so now I'm in the semis. I'm more than happy," he said.

Life and Style
Swimsuit, £245, by Agent Provocateur

Diving in at the deep end is no excuse for shirking the style stakes

Mario Balotelli, Divock Origi, Loic Remy, Wilfried Bony and Karim Benzema
transfersBony, Benzema and the other transfer targets
Yaya Touré has defended his posturing over his future at Manchester City
Spectators photograph the Tour de France riders as they make their way through the Yorkshire countryside
voicesHoward Jacobson: Line the streets for a cycling race? You might just as well watch a swarm of wasps
Life and Style
lifeHere's one answer to an inquisitive Reddit user's question
peopleDave Legeno, the actor who played werewolf Fenrir Greyback in the Harry Potter films, has died
Detail of the dress made entirely of loom bands
Life and Style
There were mass celebrations across Argentina as the country's national team reached their first World Cup final for 24 years
transfersOne of the men to suffer cardiac arrest was 16 years old
Arts and Entertainment
Armando Iannucci, the creator of 'The Thick of It' says he has
tvArmando Iannucci to concentrate on US show Veep
German supporters (left) and Argentina fans
world cup 2014Final gives England fans a choice between to old enemies
A mugshot of Ian Watkins released by South Wales Police following his guilty pleas
peopleBandmates open up about abuse
Basketball superstar LeBron James gets into his stride for the Cleveland Cavaliers
sportNBA superstar announces decision to return to Cleveland Cavaliers
Javier Mascherano of Argentina tackles Arjen Robben of the Netherlands as he attempts a shot
world cup 2014
Four ski officials in Slovenia have been suspended following allegations of results rigging
sportFour Slovenian officials suspended after allegations they helped violinist get slalom place
14 March 2011: George Clooney testifies before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee during a hearing titled 'Sudan and South Sudan: Independence and Insecurity.' Clooney is co-founder of the Satellite Sentinel Project which uses private satellites to collect evidence of crimes against civilian populations in Sudan
Caption competition
Caption competition
Daily World Cup Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting
Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

In the final part of our series, Chris Green arrives in Glasgow - a host city struggling to keep the politics out of its celebration of sport
Out in the cold: A writer spends a night on the streets and hears the stories of the homeless

A writer spends a night on the streets

Rough sleepers - the homeless, the destitute and the drunk - exist in every city. Will Nicoll meets those whose luck has run out
Striking new stations, high-speed links and (whisper it) better services - the UK's railways are entering a new golden age

UK's railways are entering a new golden age

New stations are opening across the country and our railways appear to be entering an era not seen in Britain since the early 1950s
Conchita Wurst becomes a 'bride' on the Paris catwalk - and proves there is life after Eurovision

Conchita becomes a 'bride' on Paris catwalk

Alexander Fury salutes the Eurovision Song Contest winner's latest triumph
Pétanque World Championship in Marseilles hit by

Pétanque 'world cup' hit by death threats

This year's most acrimonious sporting event took place in France, not Brazil. How did pétanque get so passionate?
Whelks are healthy, versatile and sustainable - so why did we stop eating them in the UK?

Why did we stop eating whelks?

Whelks were the Victorian equivalent of the donor kebab and our stocks are abundant. So why do we now export them all to the Far East?
10 best women's sunglasses

In the shade: 10 best women's sunglasses

From luxury bespoke eyewear to fun festival sunnies, we round up the shades to be seen in this summer
Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014: Lionel Messi? Javier Mascherano is key for Argentina...

World Cup final: Messi? Mascherano is key for Argentina...

No 10 is always centre of attention but Barça team-mate is just as crucial to finalists’ hopes
Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer knows she needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

18-year-old says this month’s Commonwealth Games are a key staging post in her career before time slips away
The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

A future Palestine state will have no borders and be an enclave within Israel, surrounded on all sides by Israeli-held territory, says Robert Fisk
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: The German people demand an end to the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

The German people demand an end to the fighting
New play by Oscar Wilde's grandson reveals what the Irish wit said at his trials

New play reveals what Oscar Wilde said at trials

For a century, what Wilde actually said at his trials was a mystery. But the recent discovery of shorthand notes changed that. Now his grandson Merlin Holland has turned them into a play
Can scientists save the world's sea life from

Can scientists save our sea life?

By the end of the century, the only living things left in our oceans could be plankton and jellyfish. Alex Renton meets the scientists who are trying to turn the tide
Richard III, Trafalgar Studios, review: Martin Freeman gives highly intelligent performance

Richard III review

Martin Freeman’s psychotic monarch is big on mockery but wanting in malice