Wimbledon Day Seven: Rafael Nadal loses to Gilles Muller in five-set battle

Wimbledon 2017: Rafael Nadal weighs in on 'Manic Monday' scheduling row following five-set defeat

Two-time Wimbledon champion Nadal was not happy to be playing on No 1 Court

Luke Brown
Tuesday 11 July 2017 12:30

‘Manic Monday’ at Wimbledon was this year rather overshadowed by a scheduling row, as some the sport’s top female players complained that they had been unfairly looked over for place on the All England Club’s showpiece courts.

World No 1 and top seed Angelique Kerber played her high-profile match against the 2015 Wimbledon runner-up Garbine Muguruza on Court No 2, while the French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko was less than impressed to find herself playing on No 12 Court, which houses just over 1,000 people.

“I think I deserve to play on a better court than No 12 Court,” Ostapenko later said.

But it appears the sport’s top female players were not the only ones less than impressed with the court scheduling on the seventh day of The Championships.

Following his titanic five-set defeat to Gilles Muller, two-time Wimbledon champion Rafael Nadal expressed his disappointment at having to play on No 1 Court rather than Centre Court.

“I like playing more on Centre Court. Someone has to play on Centre, and it’s almost always the same players here,” he grumbled in the Spanish part of his press conference, following his defeat.

“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 was scheduled to play in the second match on No 1 Court. Venus Williams, a five-time Wimbledon champion, opened the play on Centre Court, followed by matches involving the World No 1 and top seed Andy Murray, and Roger Federer — who is this year attempting to win his eighth Wimbledon title.

But Nadal stopped short of blaming the court scheduling on his defeat, and praised Muller for the quality of his performance.

It was an encounter of epic proportions

“I think I didn't play my best the first two sets, then I was always playing against the scoreboard. And that's so difficult against a player like him,” Nadal told reporters.

“So well done to him. He played well. Especially in the fifth, he played a great game.

“It was a great atmosphere. I put everything on the court. I played with all my passion.”

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