x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Rafael Nadal suffers shock Wimbledon defeat

Two-time champion stays calm despite being beaten in five sets to little-known Czech player Lukas Rosol.

Rafael Nadal is a two-time champion at Wimbledon. Clive Rose / Getty Images
Rafael Nadal is a two-time champion at Wimbledon. Clive Rose / Getty Images

Unsung Czech Lukas Rosol pulled off one of the biggest Wimbledon shocks by dumping Rafael Nadal, the two-time champion, out at the second-round stage.

When the 26 year old from Brno lost the first set on a tie-break, it appeared he was on his way to becoming the latest in a long line of low-ranked players to be swept aside by one of the game's leading names early in a grand slam tournament.

But the right-hander stumbled across the correct formula to come back against the 11-time grand slam winner and send him packing 6-7, 6-4, 6-4, 2-6,6-4 - taking the decider under the Centre Court roof.

Nadal, who won the French Open for a seventh time earlier this month, paid tribute to his opponent and refused to be downcast by his surprise early exit.

"For sure [this match] wasn't the best one for me but that's what it is and I have to accept that he came back and played unbelievable in the fifth," he said.

"I was playing well in the fourth – I think I played a great fourth set. Sure the stop this time didn't help me but that's the sport.

"You play against an inspired opponent and I am out. That's all. It is not a tragedy, it is only a tennis match."

A stunned Rosol said: "It is a miracle for me - I never expected this.

"There are so many emotions. He is a superstar but I played unbelievable today. I hope I can play one more match like this.

"I am happy and congratulations to Rafa. He played a good match but I was better."

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