Nadal Battles Past 2012 Conqueror Rosol For Wimbledon Third Round Berth
by ATP Staff|
Second seed and two-time former champion Rafael Nadal came back from the brink of a two sets deficit to beat his 2012 conqueror Lukas Rosol on Thursday for a place in the third round at The Championships.
Nadal saved one set point at 5-6 in the second set tie-break, before coming back to win 4-6, 7-6(6), 6-4, 6-4 on Centre Court. The 2008 and 2010 titlist recovered from a 3-5 deficit in the second set tie-break and struck a forehand winner down the line, when serving, at 5-6. Rosol hit a double fault at 6-7 to end a 57-minute hard-fought passage of play.
"Maybe if I lost that set point in the second set, if that forehand down the line went out, maybe I would be [sitting] here with a loss," said Nadal. But that's the sport. That forehand was a perfect forehand for that moment. Even if I was losing, I was fighting for every ball. I was fighting mentally, physically.
"Every match is so difficult here. Especially when you play against players that really decide to play every shot [at] full power. I played a bad game in the 4-4 and I lost the first set. I think until that moment I was playing better than him, but didn't have my chances on the return because he was serving well. [I am] very happy. It is a very important victory for me… I finished the match playing at a very high level."
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Video courtesy Wimbledon
Two years ago, Rosol recorded the biggest win of his career by beating Nadal in the second round. Nadal got the better of Rosol, 6-2, 7-6(7) in the first week of the 2014 ATP World Tour season at the Qatar ExxonMobil Open in Doha.
Looking at his loss, Rosol said, "It was good game from both of us. The first set I played really good [tennis], the second set was nothing bad from my side. Every point was tough for both of us. In the end, he was luckier. I hit a double fault on the last point in the second set. [It] was pretty windy from the back. But still, Rafa was playing really well. He didn't give me chance third [and] fourth set. I was feeling good. [Right] until the last point, I believed I could still win the match."
During the fortnight, 28-year-old Nadal is bidding to become just the second man in the Open Era to win the Roland Garros-Wimbledon double on three occasions, after Bjorn Borg completed the clay-grass Grand Slam 'double' from 1978-80. Nadal won both Roland Garros and Wimbledon in 2008 and 2010.