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.

Sport
sportWWE latest including Sting vs Triple H, Brock Lesnar vs Roman Reigns and The Undertaker vs Bray Wyatt
Arts and Entertainment
Louis Theroux: By Reason of Insanity takes him behind the bars again
tvBy Reason of Insanity, TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Cassetteboy's latest video is called Emperor's New Clothes rap
videoThe political parody genius duo strike again with new video
Arts and Entertainment
tvPoldark, TV review
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor
How to make your own Easter egg: Willie Harcourt-Cooze shares his chocolate recipes

How to make your own Easter egg

Willie Harcourt-Cooze talks about his love affair with 'cacao' - and creates an Easter egg especially for The Independent on Sunday
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef declares barbecue season open with his twist on a tradtional Easter Sunday lamb lunch

Bill Granger's twist on Easter Sunday lunch

Next weekend, our chef plans to return to his Aussie roots by firing up the barbecue
Joe Marler: 'It's the way I think the game should be played'

Joe Marler: 'It's the way I think the game should be played'

The England prop relives the highs and lows of last Saturday's remarkable afternoon of Six Nations rugby
Cricket World Cup 2015: Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?

Cricket World Cup 2015

Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?
The Last Word: Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing