SPANISH tennis superstar Rafa Nadal stunned the crowds at Wimbledon yesterday when he crashed out after a shock defeat at the hands of rival Lukas Rosol – number 100 in the world.
The seemingly unstoppable 'man from Manacor' was thrashed by the complete outsider in five sets, and said, “I'm very, very disappointed, but it's not life or death – it's just a tennis match. I'm going to go home and rest, because I need and deserve it.”
As for the 26-year-old Czech, who has never got further than the third round of a Grand Slam and had never before made it past the qualifying rounds at Wimbledon, the result left him open-mouthed.
Rosol, whose highest ATP ranking ever was 65th in the world, said: “I'm not just surprised – it's like a miracle.
“Rafa's a superstar and I feel very sorry for him, but I played unbelievably today and hope I can pull it off again one day.”
Rosol held a two-one lead but Nadal fought back to win the fourth and force the decider.
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, 6-4, 6-4, 2-6, 6-4.
Having expected to lose spectacularly but hoping to clinch at least one set to avoid losing 3-0, the magnitude of Rosol's achievement had not yet hit him when he clinched the fifth and final set.
Spain's hopes for a victory now lie with Jávea's David Ferrer, the seventh seed, who is due to play three-times Wimbledon runner-up Andy Roddick after thrashing France's Kenny de Schepper 7-6 (7-1), 6-2, 6-4.