Who is Lukas Rosol? That was the biggest question as the 100th-ranked Lukas Rosol pulled off one of the greatest upsets in Wimbledon history, outclassing Rafael Nadal 6-7(9), 6-4, 6-4, 6-4, 2-6, 6-3, in a second round match that began in late afternoon sunshine and finished more than four hours later beneath a closed roof, the artificial light only adding to the surreal shock his win created.
While Nadal had been amassing a record that included 11 Grand Slam singles titles and a long stint as world No.1, Rosol had in fact been scratching out the odd quarter-final here or there but had never come close to anything so spectacular. He’s never been a tournament finalist – let alone a titlist - and lost in the first round of qualifying in his last five Wimbledon attempts. In 10 years on tour, he’s never progressed further than a ranking of world No.65. They are both aged 26 but in tennis terms, Rosol and Nadal were, until now, poles apart.
As Rosol would surmise later, though, “you never know what to expect” and that allowed a sense of freedom as he shocked the two-time Wimbledon champion and three-time finalist with stunning firepower on his serve, equally devastating returns and an unwavering focus on victory.
“I'm sorry for Rafa, but today I was somewhere else and I'm really happy for this, “he said. “Still I cannot find the words. I still can't believe it. It's like [a] dream for me.”