Nadal’s record in five set matches, and Slams in general, when he’s won the first set is impressive but Lukas didn’t let his ranking, 98 places below Nadal’s, get in the way.
Rosol combined the best of those who have beaten Nadal in matches with high stakes before. He used the thumping power of Del Potro, the relentless shot making of Soderling and the intensity and roaring confidence of Novak Djokovic.
With the momentum in Rafa’s favour as he leveled the high tension match at two sets all the match was halted in the fading light for 45 minutes to close the roof and Rosol didn’t let the pause get the better of him – closing the match out with his 22nd ace to win 6-7, 6-4, 6-4, 2-6, 6-4.
While Rasol put on a brilliant display of shot making the purpose of the roof at Wimbledon is to continue play in the event of rain not in poor light. This, and his inability to manage his opponent, all seemed to irritate Rafa and we saw some unusual shoulder nudges at the change of ends.
Nadal even complained to the umpire about Rosol’s return routine and that it was distracting him.
Asked if Rosol was too good in the post match press conference Nadal said, “Oh, c’mon. That’s too simple. In the fifth, yes. Not before, no? In the fifth set he played more than unbelievable. That’s fine. Before, first three sets, I didn’t play well.”
Rosol took the match to Nadal and put on a phenomenal show in an amazing atmosphere.
In many ways it doesn’t surprise me that Nadal lost early in Wimbledon. After he finally beat Novak in a final in Paris and restored order in the clay court season Nadal seemed spent and almost as if he couldn’t get mentally back into competition.
Unsurprisingly Nadal sounds keen to head home Mallorca for some rest ahead of the Olympics having made no secret of the fact that his goals for the season were to dominate on clay and then focus on the Olympics.
Will we finally get a Grand Slam winner who isn’t one of the Big Three? I guess we’ll have to wait and see because finally there wont be Nadal V Djokovic final!
“It’s like a miracle for me. So many emotions. He’s a superstar, I am sorry for that. I played unbelievable.
Before the match I was thinking to play just three good sets. But I know that Nadal is only human. Some matches he can turn up in not very good shape. I played my best match ever. It means so much for me. It never happened to me before. I was due to play next week in Germany but I want to stay here as long as I can.” – Lukas Rosol