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London – Wimbledon giantkiller Lukas Rosol admitted he was surprised by Rafael Nadal's uncharacteristic shoulder charge in the third set of his stunning second round triumph over the great Spaniard.
A clearly rattled Nadal, who had played in the last five Grand Slam finals, slumped to his worst defeat at a major in seven years when Rosol, the world 100, clinched an historic 6-7 (9/11), 6-4, 6-4, 2-6, 6-4 Centre Court triumph.
Nadal had become clearly irritated by Rosol's constant movement during his service motion and made his anger clear to the umpire.
After the Czech had broken for a 2-1 lead in the third set, the two players collided at the changeover.
“I was surprised that he can do it on the Centre Court at Wimbledon. I didn't expect it, it was his choice,” said the 26-year-old Czech.
“I thought that he wants to let me go first, you know, but then he start to walk fast. I stop because I don't want to hit me. He hit me, and then three times he apologise. And I say, Okay, okay, okay. It was okay.”
Rosol, whose five previous visits to Wimbledon had all ended in first round defeats in qualifying, believes the incident was Nadal's way of trying to break his stride as he took an iron grip on the match.
“He wanted to take my concentration. I knew that he will try something. He talked to me a little bit. I think it's normal somebody do it like this.”
Nadal, the 2008 and 2010 champion, refused to make excuses for his defeat and would not discuss why he had complained to the chair umpire.
“The bad thing of this is anything that I will say now will sound against me,” said Nadal, the 11-time Grand Slam title winner, who captured a record seventh French Open earlier this month.
“So is not the right moment for me to say what happened out there because it's gonna sound an excuse, and I never want to put an excuse after a match like today. But the umpire say a few things weren't right.”
Rosol's triumph won immediate praise from American legend Jimmy Connors, a former Wimbledon champion.
“Rosol wasn't scared of Nadal tonight, he took ball on the rise & didn't give a $hit.Had absolutely nothing 2 lose by doing so,” said Connors on Twitter. – Sapa-AFP