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What the papers say - day five

The No. 100 player Lukas Rosol upset Rafael Nadal on Centre Court.
by Mark Hodgkinson
Friday 29 June 2012

Who on earth is Lukas Rosol? That's the question The Daily Mail asks itself in today's edition. The answer: "Very good question. He is a 26-year-old from Brno, the Czech Republic's second largest city. Has been a professional for seven years." Ten minutes before he walked on to Centre Court to play Rafael Nadal he could have walked past Henman Hill without so much as a second glance. The next day, personal and professional details were still sketchy.

Also in The Mail, Mike Dickson admires the way Rosol closed out his victory: "Rosol was born in Brno, the same place as Jana Novotna, never known for having the strongest of nerves when it came to the crunch. Maybe someone should check his birth certificate."

In The Telegraph, Ian Chadband writes that, "what made this all the more astonishing was that it actually did not feel remotely like a fluke - Rosol, who has never won an ATP tournament, and has never really achieved anything of note in a decade on the circuit, played a match of utter spellbinding brilliance. Where it sprang from, not even this 6ft 5in beanpole could fathom." Chadband also noted how Nadal and Rosol appeared to bump shoulders during one change of ends: "Rosol didn't look like a man easily intimidated."

In the pages of The Times, Neil Harman admires Rosol's uninhibited tennis: "There was a touch of Boris Becker about his attitude, a hell-for-leather unfettered approach that all but dashed Nadal's racket from his hand."

Rosol's victory had a number of consequences, including bringing Nadal's earliest defeat at a slam for seven years, and opening up the bottom half of the draw. It also meant that Ivo Karlovic's gripes, about the number of foot-faults during his defeat to Andy Murray, did not receive as much oxygen as they would otherwise have done. As Dickson noted in The Mail, under the headline 'Karlovic is treading a fine line', "tennis players accept they are in the wrong when it comes to foot-faulting about as often as a British man wins Wimbledon".


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