Gilles Muller is continuing to enjoy his best season after 16 years on tour. The Luxembourg native, seeded 16th, is through to the second week at Wimbledon for the first time after a convincing 7-6(4), 7-5, 6-4 win over local favourite Aljaz Bedene.
Muller’s serve has been on song throughout the grass-court season and today was no exception. He even hit a game of aces at 5-5 in the opening set to emphatically demonstrate his strength on that shot.
The positive tennis didn’t stop there. Muller hammered 48 winners and 19 aces, winning 82 per cent of his first-serve points to advance in two hours and 27 minutes. He leads the tournament in aces, with 72 hit over three rounds. John Isner hit 70 aces in two matches, while Marin Cilic has struck 63 aces through three rounds.
The Luxembourg native, currently at a career-high No. 26 in the Emirates ATP Rankings, was given a seeding boost at Wimbledon due to his outstanding grass-court resume. Muller prevailed last month at the Ricoh Open (d. Karlovic) and recorded a semi-final finish at the Aegon Championships (l. Cilic). The 34 year old also won his maiden ATP World Tour title this January in Sydney (d. Evans) and reached his first clay-court final this May in Estoril (l. Carreno Busta).
Standing between him and a place in the quarter-finals is fourth seed Rafael Nadal, a winner earlier in the day over 30th seed and #NextGenATP player Karen Khachanov. Nadal leads their FedEx ATP Head2Head 4-1, but Muller’s lone win over the Spaniard came at Wimbledon in 2005. Nadal got revenge with a third-round win at the All England Club in 2011.