That’s all you need to say to sum-up both Monday at Wimbledon and its best match, Gilles Muller’s 15-13 fifth set victory over two-time champion Rafael Nadal.

To say Muller’s win was unexpected would be a bigger understatement than saying Bernard Tomic is unpopular. This was the best Rafa looked on grass in quite some time, and after rallying from two sets down to even things up, you had to think he’d finish the Luxembourgian off.

Instead, we got one of the most clutch displays from an underdog in recent memory, and another chapter in the remarkable season of 2017’s most unlikely hero.

Also for the Rafa fans grieving right now – don’t worry, he’ll be back. The US Open is just around the corner.

Moving onto Tuesday, we’re now at the point in the tournament where the men and women alternate days (with the exception of the Djokovic/Mannarino match), so here’s your preview of all the ladies’ quarterfinals action on day 8 at the championships.

Garbine Muguruza (ESP) [14] vs Svetlana Kuznetsova (RUS) [7] – 1st on No. 1 Court

If Kuznetsova wants to finally get past the Wimbledon quarters, she’s going to have to do it the hard way. Muguruza holds a 3-1 head-to-head advantage, and showed in their most recent meeting this year in Brisbane why, fighting back from a break down to win in straights by simply refusing to be removed from the baseline. If Kuznetsova wants to turn the tables, she’s going to have to make Muguruza pay for her aggression by hitting the ball consistently on-the-rise (easier said than done on grass) and stretching the court at every opportunity. Anything less than her A-game from the Russian, and Muguruza wins this comfortably.

Venus Williams (USA) [10] vs Jelena Ostapenko (LAT) [13] – 2nd on Centre Court.

If you don’t quite have a grasp of the age difference in this matchup, this is all you need to know: when Williams made her first major final at the ’97 US Open, Ostapeno was 12 weeks old. That said this is less a question of “age versus experience” than it is “massive hitter versus… another massive hitter”. Both women have the tools to blow their opponents off court, and while Venus has the edge with her more well-rounded grass court play, it’s hard to bet against Ostapenko having proven her big-game bonafides. Regardless of who wins, expect plenty of haymakers from each.

Magdalena Rybarikova (SVK) vs Coco Vandeweghe (USA) [24] – 2nd on No. 1 Court

It’s rare that a chance at revenge comes as swiftly as it has here for Vandeweghe, who lost to Rybarikova in the French Open first round, but that’s exactly what she’s got, and she has to like her chances. On clay the Slovak’s better mobility and defensive play allowed her to blunt much of the brute force Vandeweghe offers, but she’ll have a far different time of it on the faster grass. Rybarikova’s main hope rests in frustrating Vandeweghe into a meltdown, but the American has been locked-in this tournament, and should be able to keep it going here.

Johanna Konta (GBR) [6] vs Simona Halep (ROU) [2] – 3rd on Centre Court

The hits just keep on coming for heart-attack kid Konta, who now faces off against the woman primed to seize the world no. 1 ranking. Not a natural grass courter by any means, Halep has been exceptional this tournament, and possesses a 3-2 head-to-head advantage, but as we saw in Konta’s 3-set victory over the Romanian this year in Miami, the Brit is capable of stepping up. As in Miami, Konta should be the aggressor with her more penetrative groundies and superior serve, but more than most, Halep is capable of countering such attacking play by taking shots on the rise and dogged defending. Whoever wins this one, it’s likely to take some serious time to sort out.


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