The quarterfinal field at the Aegon Championships was almost set on Thursday before rain delayed the final match of the day. But there was still plenty to talk about, including a record-breaking match between big servers and a tense all-British battle. Here’s what happened on day four at the Aegon Championship.
The most anticipated match of the day pitted the top two British players in the world against each other. Andy Murray was tested by Aljaz Bedene in a tricky second round match, with some moments of inconsistency and seemingly physical struggles dogging the top seed. In the end, Murray found the edge he needed to defeat his countryman in straight sets. Check out the full recap here. In the next round, he will take on another fellow Brit, as Kyle Edmund advanced on a walkover from Paul-Henri Mathieu.
The biggest match of the day was a serving battle for the ages between John Isner and Gilles Muller. Isner set the Queen’s Club record for most aces in a best-of-three match with a stunning 43 aces. He won 84 percent of his first serve points and was not broken, but it was not enough as he was still defeated in three set by Muller. The man from Luxembourg made some history himself, saving 10 match points, the most by any man on the tour since 2004, in the 3-6, 7-6(16), 7-6(7) victory. Their combined 69 aces were the most in a best-of-three match since the ATP began keeping those statistics in 1991.
It was Isner who got off to the better start, converting what would be his only break point of the match in the first set to claim the opener. There would be no more breaks in the match although Muller would have five break points in the third set, meaning the match was decided by tiebreaks. The second set breaker was one for the ages, with Isner holding six matches points but being unable to convert as Muller took it 18-16, the longest tiebreak so far this year. After Isner managed to fend off Muller in the third set, the American again held four match points in the third set breaker, but still could not convert, eventually dropping it 9-7.
In the quarterfinals, Muller will take on Bernard Tomic, who also survived a storm of aces in a comeback three-set winner. The Australian number two dropped the first set in a tiebreak to Fernando Verdasco but came back to win 6-7(2), 6-4, 6-4. Verdasco crushed 23 aces past his opponent, but struggled to create opportunities on his return, only holding three break points, while facing 10 against his own serve. In the final set, Tomic dominated his own service games, only losing two first serve points and not allowing a single break point against his serve. It took the Aussie just over two hours to claim victory.
Third seed Milos Raonic, the highest seed left in the bottom half of the draw, faced another big hitting opponent in the form of Jiri Vesely. The Canadian used his big serve effectively, saving every break point he faced, converting the only one he had on his opponent’s serve, and saving a set point in the second set tiebreak before advancing in straight sets. Check out the full recap here. Raonic will have to wait to see who he plays in the quarterfinals, as Roberto Bautista Agut and Donald Young had their match suspended overnight due to rain after the Spaniard claimed the opening set. They will be up first tomorrow, with the winner taking on Raonic later in the day.