Nadal swept off his feet at Wimbledon
Launching outrageous winners left, right and centre, obscure Czech Lukas Rosol rocked Wimbledon's Centre Court to its foundations on Thursday by winning a final-set shootout after dusk against twice former champion Rafa Nadal.sports Updated: Jun 30, 2012 01:36 IST
Launching outrageous winners left, right and centre, obscure Czech Lukas Rosol rocked Wimbledon's Centre Court to its foundations on Thursday by winning a final-set shootout after dusk against twice former champion Rafa Nadal.
Ranked 100th in the world, few of the enthralled 15,000 fans inside the famous arena would have heard of Rosol before the match started but none present will forget witnessing one of the biggest shocks in the tournament's 126-year history.
When Nadal levelled the match at two sets all it seemed inevitable that he would reach the third round, albeit with plenty of battle scars.
However, after a 30-minute delay while Centre Court's roof was slid into position, 26-year-old Rosol returned to overpower the 11-times grand slam champion and complete an electrifying 6-7 (9), 6-4, 6-4, 2-6, 6-4 victory in three hours and 18 minutes.
The game's journeymen are supposed to fight valiantly against the so called "Big Four", provide some entertainment before packing their bags and disappearing into the wilderness. Not Rosol.
After losing the first set tiebreak 11-9 he hit back with blistering tennis to stagger Nadal. The Mallorcan swept through the fourth set but Rosol returned after the roof closure like a man possessed.
Serving at 5-4 all eyes were on the Czech to see if his nerve would hold. He simply took a deep breath, stared over the net at his quarry and fired down two clean aces, a clubbing forehand winners and another ace to leave Nadal powerless.
After his 22nd ace flashed by the Spaniard, Rosol fell to the court in disbelief.