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The Draw: 30 June

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Championships begin: 3 July


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Friday, 7 July 2017 14:22 PM BST
Muller's prime-time show too hot for Bedene
No.16 seed from Luxembourg reaches fourth round for first time with 7-6(4), 7-5, 6-4 win against Briton READ MORE

The temperatures are soaring and Gilles Muller is enjoying his own Indian summer.

At the venerable age of 34, the Luxembourg world No.26 is seeded at The Championships for the first time and now he has reached the fourth round for the first time too.

Muller's impressive 7-6(4), 7-5, 6-4 win over Britain’s Aljaz Bedene showcased why he is such a dangerous opponent on grass.

The lead-up to this run started with winning in ‘s-Hertogenbosch and reaching the semi-finals at Queen’s. The way he ended Bedene's progress only goes to suggest Muller could be an awkward customer when he faces either Rafael Nadal or Russia’s Karen Khachanov in the next round.

As a former junior world No.1, Muller has been there or thereabouts for a long time but these days thirtysomething seems to be a prime age for a tennis player.

The No.16 seed certainly did not give Bedene much of a sniff. Muller brought variety and a willingness to move up to the net to finish the point while his opponent found his default position just behind the baseline.

The first set needed a tie-break to separate the players and a wonderful touch volley gave Muller a 4-1 advantage which Bedene erased thanks to a his ability to hurt the left hander from deep. One spectacular forehand cross court winner from behind the baseline brought loud cheers from a baking No.2 Court crowd.

However, Muller prevailed as he made the most of two weak second serves from Bedene to unleash winners and take the set 7-6 after exactly an hour.

Bedene, who had lost their previous two meetings including their quarter-final in ‘s-Hertogenbosch, showed his fighting qualities at the start of the second set, breaking to take a 2-0 lead with a brilliant lob that Muller could do nothing about.

Sadly for the home crowd, the world No.58 could not keep up the good work and the errors started to arrive. A tumble as he came to the net to try and rescue a point did not help Bedene, who was unhurt.

Muller called his heavy serve into active duty, duly claimed a tight second set and Bedene's back was against the wall. Significantly, he had never come back from two sets down before.

In the end, Bedene's unwillingness to change tactics proved costly. Muller mixed things up, playing serve and volley off 51 per cent of his serves. Bedene tried that tactic with just three per cent of his serves.

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