THE CHAMPIONSHIPS 2012
Rosol Roars Past Nadal In Major Upset Win
by ATP Staff|
Lukas Rosol pulled off the biggest win of his career Thursday, stunning World No. 2 Rafael Nadal 6-7(9), 6-4, 6-4, 2-6, 6-4 in the second round of The Championships to hand Nadal his earliest Grand Slam defeat in seven years. Rosol came out with a clear game plan to hit Nadal off the court and with 65 winners never relented on his tactic to prevent Nadal from working his way into points.
“Today I was somewhere else and I'm really happy for this,” said Rosol. “Still, I cannot find the words. I still can't believe it. It's like a dream for me.”
After Nadal battled back to win the fourth set, play was suspended to close the Centre Court roof. When the match resumed, Rosol broke for the fourth time to take a 1-0 lead. He showed no signs of nerves when he served for the match at 5-4, hitting three aces and cracking a forehand winner to oust the two-time Wimbledon champion in three hours and 18 minutes.
Rosol did not drop a point in his final three service games, hitting 10 consecutive winners on his final 10 points on serve. (Read more)
“Before the last game, I was not sure if I will be shaking or not because it was the first time against Rafa and the first time also in Wimbledon Centre Court,” Rosol said. “You never know what to expect, so it was not easy, and I survived.”
Rosol, ranked No. 100 in the South African Airways ATP Rankings, is the lowest ranked player to defeat Nadal since Nicolas Mahut, then-ranked 106th, upset the Spaniard at the AEGON Championships in 2007. The Czech fired 22 aces and won 83 per cent of his first serve points against Nadal.
Prior to this season, Rosol had never won a tour-level grass-court match. He is through to the third round of a Grand Slam event for the second time.
“This year, I changed and I played already at Queen's and Eastbourne, a couple more weeks [than before],” said Rosol. “If I play on grass more, I think I can get better.”
Nadal lost before the second week of a major tournament for the first time since 2005, when he went out in the second round at the All England Club to Gilles Muller. The loss ended his bid to return to World No. 1.
“For sure, it wasn't the best one for me,” said Nadal. “But that's what it is. I accept that he came back and played unbelievable in the fifth [set]. I was playing well in the fourth. I think I played a great fourth set.”
The last No. 2 seed to lose in the second round of a Grand Slam was Andy Roddick at Roland Garros in 2005 (l. to Acasuso). At Wimbledon, the last player seeded second to bow out in the second round was Marat Safin in 2002 (l. to O. Rochus).