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Rediff.com  » Sports » Wimbledon Images: Rosol stuns Nadal in five-set thriller

Wimbledon Images: Rosol stuns Nadal in five-set thriller

Last updated on: June 29, 2012 03:05 IST

Rosol stuns Nadal in five-set thriller

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Czech Lukas Rosol beat second seed Rafa Nadal 6-7, 6-4, 6-4, 2-6, 6-4 in the Wimbledon second round to complete one of the biggest ever upsets on Thursday.

The world number 100, making his Wimbledon debut, overpowered the Spanish second seed who was seeking his third title at the All England Club with an inspired display on Centre Court.

"I never expected something like this," Rosol said. "I am very sorry for him but I hope I can play one more match like this. I played my best match ever. It means so much for me."

Nadal looked on course to reach the third round in routine fashion when he came through a marathon first-set tiebreak 11-9.

But Rosol, who has never gone beyond the third round of a grand slam, broke serve in the opening game of the second set and stunned Nadal with a succession of inspired winners from all over the court.


Image: Lukas Rosol
Photographs: Toby Melville / Reuters

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It was Nadal's first early exit in seven years

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Nadal was powerless to stem the tide and was clearly upset by the 26-year-old Czech's aggressive style but he dug in to break serve at the start of the fourth set and repeated the feat to level at two sets all.

Officials decided to close the Centre Court roof to enable the match to be finished.

After a half-hour delay the players returned and Rosol immediately broke Nadal's serve.

He continued to subject the World No. 2 to a barrage of aces and outrageous winners to set up a third-round match against German Philipp Kohlschreiber.

It was the first time Nadal had lost before the third round of a Grand Slam since he was beaten by Gilles Mueller in the second round at Wimbledon in 2005.


Image: Rafa Nadal
Photographs: Toby Melville / Reuters

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Sharapova survives scare

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Top seed Maria Sharapova overcame a second-set wobble to beat Tsvetana Pironkova 7-6, 6-7, 6-0 and reach the Wimbledon third round on Thursday.

The match was halted on Wednesday evening with the Russian leading 3-1 in the second set but she lost the first two games to allow Bulgarian Pironkova, a Wimbledon semi-finalist two years ago, a foothold.

Pironkova relied on her powerful serve to cause Sharapova problems and the world number one double-faulted three times in the tiebreak on the way to losing it 7-3.

Sharapova, Wimbledon champion in 2004, regrouped quickly, however, and roared through the third set in 29 minutes to set up a match against Taiwan's Hsieh Su-wei.

"I started so slowly today and she came out firing today and yesterday," the French Open champion said. "It's always difficult to stop a match especially when you have the momentum.

"I wanted to start strong today but it didn't happen for me," Sharapova added. "My serve let me down in the tiebreaker."


Image: Maria Sharapova of Russia celebrates after defeating Tsvetana Pironkova of Bulgaria in their women's singles tennis match at the Wimbledon tennis championships in London
Photographs: REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth

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Murray survives barrage to beat Karlovic

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Britain's Andy Murray faced an all-out assault from massive- serving Croat Ivo Karlovic before booking his place in the Wimbledon third round with a 7-5, 6-7, 6-2, 7-6 victory on Thursday.

The number four seed struggled to get a handle on the Karlovic serve with 17 aces flying past him and the 2.08 metre Croat also volleyed well to frustrate Murray. 

After claiming the first set, Murray was unable to find a way to upset the Karlovic serve in the second and was pegged back in a tiebreak. 

He broke twice in the third set and closed out the match in a second tiebreak to advance to a third-round match against Marcos Baghdatis or Grigor Dimitrov.

 







Image: Andy Murray of Britain hits a return to Ivo Karlovic of Croatia during their men's singles tennis match at the Wimbledon tennis championships in London
Photographs: REUTERS/Toby Melville

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Serena sweeps easily into third round

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Four-times Wimbledon champion Serena Williams sailed effortlessly into the third round of Wimbledon on Thursday with a crisply efficient 6-1, 6-4 victory over Hungarian qualifier Melinda Czink.

Serena launched the match with three devastating aces in the first game and then kept firing them down at a demoralised Czink, who could do nothing against the mighty Williams firepower.

Shaking off her disappointing first round loss in the French Open, Serena looked razor sharp this time, moving crosscourt with effortless ease and serving a total of 10 aces.

The second set was more closely fought but one break in the ninth game was enough to secure Serena a clash in the next round with 2008 Wimbledon semi-finalist Zheng Jie of China.



Image: Serena Williams of the U.S. reacts after defeating Melinda Czink of Hungary in their women's singles tennis match at the Wimbledon tennis championships in London
Photographs: REUTERS/Toby Melville

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Ivanovic sails through

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Ana Ivanovic sailed through to the third round with a 6-3, 7-6 (3) win over Katarina Bondarenko. 

The Serb, a former champion at the French Open and a beaten finalist at the Australian Open, had to dig deep in the second set against her resolute opponent.


Photographs: REUTERS/Toby Melville

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