World Number Two Rafael Nadal has been dumped out of Wimbledon following an epic five set match with Czech Lukas Rosol.
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The player ranked 100th in the world won 6-7 (9), 6-4, 6-4, 2-6, 6-4 in a contest that proved a real treat for those spectators who stayed around just after 10pm on Thursday night. About 5,000 spectators were present to witness the start of the match but there were double that number on centre court by the finish. It is the first time since 2005 that Nadal has failed to progress beyond the second round of a Grand Slam tournament.
The 26-year-old Czech player’s best result this year was a quarter-final appearance in Belgrade but he trumped that with a stunning display at the All England club. The six foot, five inch Rosol never deviated from his free swinging approach that characterised his play throughout the match, opening his shoulders and hammering his groundstrokes with tremendous velocity.
With the exception of the fourth set, the Czech’s serve had been a potent weapon and it did not fail him. At 5-4 ahead, he served for the match and did so with impressive authority and composure.
The handshake was perfunctory at the end, possibly attributable to a collision at one point when the players were changing ends and also that Nadal had expressed his displeasure to the umpire at the way Rosol moved around when he prepared to serve and made noises before receiving from the two time Wimbledon champion.
Rosol is now the lowest ranked player ever to beat Nadal in what is one of the greatest shocks of Grand Slam tennis history.