Rafael Nadal falls to shock Wimbledon defeat by Lukas Rosol

 

WIMBLEDON

  • Venue: All England Club, London
  • Date: 25 June - 8 July

Coverage: Live on BBC One, BBC Two, BBC HD Channel, red button, BBC Radio 5 live, mobiles, tablet and the BBC Sport website

Two-time Wimbledon champion Rafael Nadal was handed a shock second-round defeat by world number 100 Lukas Rosol in a five-set thriller.

Nadal could not contain a barrage of relentless, brutal groundstrokes from the Czech, 26, on his Wimbledon debut.

Rosol moved into a two-one lead but Nadal fought back to win the fourth.

Wimbledon shocks

  • In 2002, world number 145 George Bastl beat seven-time Wimbledon champion Pete Sampras in five sets after receiving a wildcard into the draw.
  • In 2003, defending champion Lleyton Hewitt was beaten in the first round by world number 203 Ivo Karlovic. Hewitt became the first defending Wimbledon champion since tennis turned professional in 1968 to lose in the first round.
  • An unseeded 17-year-old Boris Becker became the youngest winner of the men's singles at Wimbledon in 1985, and retained his crown 12 months later, but suffered a shock second-round defeat by Australian Peter Doohan in 1987.
  • Richard Krajicek beat Pete Sampras in the 1996 quarter-final before going on to become the first Dutchman to win Wimbledon. That was Sampras's only loss at the tournament between 1993 and 2001.
  • Three-time Wimbledon runner-up Goran Ivanisevic won the title in 2001 to become the lowest-ranked player and only wildcard to win Wimbledon.

Play was suspended while the roof was closed and it was Rosol who settled first to win the final set and the match 6-7 (9-11) 6-4 6-4 2-6 6-4.

The result now opens up the draw for Britain's world number four Andy Murray, who was seeded to meet the Spaniard in the semi-final and beat Ivo Karlovic in four sets earlier in the day.

Rosol, who is making his main draw debut at Wimbledon after losing in the first round of qualifying for the last five years, will play Philipp Kohlschreiber next after the German beat Malek Jaziri of Tunisia.

It was the first time Nadal had lost before the third round of a Grand Slam since he was beaten by Gilles Mueller in the second round at Wimbledon in 2005.

Nadal, who won the Wimbledon title in 2008 and 2010, arrived at the All England Club in good form having sealed his seventh French Open title.

Rosol, meanwhile, has never got past the third round of a Grand Slam and has remained a relative unknown since turning pro in 2004, although he was ranked as high as 65 last year.

"I don't know what to say," Rosol told BBC Sport. "I'm not just surprised but it's like a miracle. I never expected something like this. There are so many emotions - I don't know what to say.

"[Nadal] is a superstar and I'm very sorry for him. I played unbelievably today. I hope I can play another match like this.

"I'm very happy for my support. Before the match I was thinking to play three good sets so I don't lose 3-0.

"I know Nadal is only human. Nadal played a good match but I think I was a little bit better."

Analysis

"These great championships have produced huge, huge upsets, but this is one of the greatest in history. How typical of Nadal. At one of his lowest moments, he is still signing autographs. It's a mark of the gentleman he is and the sportsman he is. But he wasn't good enough on the day. And for Lukas Rosol to be ranked 100 in the world is a joke."

Nadal, who had to overcome a slow start to beat Thomaz Bellucci of Brazil in the first round, struggled with his groundstrokes in the first set but managed to steal the tie-break 11-9 with a blistering forehand winner.

Undeterred, Rosol continued to go for his shots, breaking Nadal in the first game and holding on to win the set 6-4 with some tremendous hitting.

The Czech seemed oblivious to the enormity of the situation as he continued his ferocious hitting from all over the court to take an early break and then the set to lead 2-1.

However, mistakes began to creep into the 26-year-old Rosol's game and 11-time Grand Slam winner Nadal pounced, breaking twice to force a decider.

With the light deteriorating, officials decided to halt the match and close the roof to allow the match to reach a conclusion.

The players returned 43 minutes later, with Rosol breaking Nadal immediately and then holding on to secure a famous victory on Centre Court just after 22:00 BST.

Lukas Rosol profile

  • Age: 26
  • Turned pro: 2004
  • 2012 ATP tour win/loss record: 11/13
  • Career ATP tour win/loss record: 18-32
  • Australian Open: 1R (2012)
  • French Open: 3R (2011)
  • Wimbledon: 2R (2012)
  • US Open: 1R (2010/11)

Afterwards, the Spaniard said: "I played a great fourth set. He came back [after the delay to close the roof] and played unbelievable in the fifth.

"The only thing I can do is go back home and rest, and I need and deserve it."

He added: "I'm very, very disappointed [but] it's not a tragedy, it's only a tennis match."

Elsewhere, fifth seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga overcame a first-set blip to beat Guillermo Garcia-Lopez 6-7 (3-7) 6-4 6-1 6-3 to set up a tie with Lukas Lacko.

Three-time Wimbledon runner-up Andy Roddick progressed to the last 32 with with a comprehensive 6-3 7-6 (7-1) 6-3 victory over Bjorn Phau of Germany.

The American has struggled for form this year but won his fifth grass-court title with victory at Eastbourne last week as a wildcard.

The 30th seed, who has yet to drop a set in the tournament, hit 13 aces and only lost his serve once to progress to the third round round of a Grand Slam for the first time this year.

He will now play Spanish seventh seed David Ferrer who also went through in straight sets, beating France's Kenny De Schepper 7-6 (7-1) 6-2 6-4.

Marin Cilic, the 16th seed who won the Aegon Championships at the Queen's Club this month after David Nalbandian was disqualified, beat Lukasz Kubot 7-6 (7-4) 6-2 6-1 to set up a third-round tie against either Sam Querrey or Milos Raonic.

The winner of that clash faces a potential match-up with Murray in the fourth round.

Thirteenth seed Gilles Simon, who has found himself in the headlines this week by saying men should be paid more than women because their events are more popular, lost 6-4 6-4 7-6 (7-5) to Xavier Malisse of Belgium.