Müller, the veteran No. 16 seed from Luxembourg, who had never been past the third round in 12 previous Wimbledons, withstood a withering comeback from the fourth-seeded Nadal to win, 6-3, 6-4, 3-6, 4-6, 15-13, in a draining battle of left-handed players.
At 4 hours 48 minutes, it was the longest match at this year’s event, and Müller’s reward is his first trip to the Wimbledon quarterfinals in his 13th try. On Wednesday, Müller, 34, will face No. 7 Marin Cilic, who breezed past Roberto Bautista Agut, 6-2, 6-2, 6-2.
That match lasted 1 hour 41 minutes. Nadal and Müller’s fifth set alone went 2:15.
“If I would have lost that match, it obviously would have been very tough to digest,” said Müller, who failed to convert on his first four match points.
Mostly, his massive and well-placed serve produced the win of his life, and cost Nadal the chance to compete for his third Wimbledon title.
As close as the match was, Nadal usually was playing from behind, and often a tick behind Müller.
“I think I played with the right determination, right passion, right attitude to win the match,” Nadal said.
Nadal, of Spain, became the…