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Rosol aims to net more victims
Rafael Nadal may not agree but Lukas Rosol believes he has what it takes to go all the way at Wimbledon.
Until this week, the 26-year-old Czech was largely unknown on the professional tour, with his nomadic career showing just three wins at grand slam level but a stunning five-set victory over Nadal was a life-changer, sending the number two seed packing at the second-round stage of a grand slam for the first time in seven years.
"I think if I beat Rafa I can beat anyone," he said. "It is just tennis and everyone is human. Thus is sport. Everybody can lose and everybody can win. We're just people."
The manner of his success left spectators open-mouthed, with even Rosol admitting "a miracle" had occurred under the Centre Court roof. Nadal was typically phlegmatic when assessing his loss, conceding his fearless conqueror had deserved to win, but kindly ruled him out of going on to challenge at the deep end of the tournament.
"How old is he? Twenty-six. He didn't before," the Spaniard said, referring to Rosol's modest CV.
A man who sports an All Blacks-inspired Maori tattoo on his left calf, the Brno resident displayed a steely glaze more commonly associated with the fictional Rocky character Ivan Drago.
Nothing seemed to faze him, continually finding ways to frustrate Nadal, from dancing on the spot as he received serve to planting one- and two-handers either side of the Majorcan.
"It's not fair," was Nadal's complaint to the umpire, while the players even collided at a change of ends.
Rosol would not be distracted, though, using a 45-minute delay before the decider, while the roof was closed, to ramp up his concentration levels even more.
"After the fourth set I had a little bit of pain. I just came to the locker room and took a shower. When I went back on court, I didn't feel anything," he said. "I was just like somewhere else. I believe in myself and knew that I could make it. I didn't want to show Rafa what was inside me. I was so concentrated and in a trance a little bit."