Friday 3 May 2013
Could Rafael Nadal's Wimbledon conqueror be in it for the long haul? Wimbledon.com takes a look at Lukas Rosol...
Is Lukas Rosol, the great outsider who sent the Centre Court Pimm's-ometer into overdrive last year, about to join the tennis establishment? This week sees Rosol at a career high of 35 in the ATP World Tour rankings, after he won his first senior title on the clay of Bucharest last weekend, so you have to seriously consider the possibility that he will be one of the 32 seeds for this summer's Championships.
This much is certain; Rosol has no desire to be a one-hit wonder, a grass-court supernova. Rosol has recognised that one shock result, even a result as shocking as the then world No 100 beating Rafael Nadalin the second round of Wimbledon, doesn't count as a career. Or as the Czech put it, he hasn't been "living off the result". At first, Rosol's victory was widely regarded as the greatest upset in the history of the All England Club, but then, in some people's minds, that achievement was downgraded when we learnt just what a state Nadal's knees had been in. But that is to ignore the fact that Rosol played brilliantly that day. It's also deaf to how Rosol has since shown a determination to be known for just one match. You could argue that Rosol's win in Romania was the more noteworthy event of the weekend, above Nadal winning his eighth title in Barcelona.
If Rosol is seeded at this summer's Championships - whether he is or not will depend on the special grass-court formula used by the All England Club - he and Nadal won't meet each other before the third round.
What made Rosol's triumph in Bucharest all the more remarkable was that his father had passed away just days earlier. "Before the second set started, I was thinking about something else, my dad. I tried to just concentrate and finish the match in two sets. Before the last game there were already emotions," Rosol told ATPWorldTour.com after his straight-sets victory over Spain's Guillermo Garcia-Lopez at the BRD NastaseTiriac Trophy in Bucharest. "I was shaking a lot before the match point, not because I was nervous, but because I was thinking about everything."
At the start of the year, Rosol was interested to read an interview his coach had given to a newspaper in which he had been quoted as saying Rosol was good enough to break into the top 20. While Rosol has never set himself the target of becoming the world No.1 or winning Wimbledon, he always wanted to get the most from his talent. So that doesn't mean he can sit back and enjoy the afterglow of what happened on Centre Court last year. "More people recognise me after that match, but it didn't change me," he told ATPWorldTour.com. "Other players saw that I can play good tennis so they are more careful with me. People have asked for pictures and autographs. I cannot live on this result. I need to win more matches like this and have successes at other tournaments."
Rosol hasn't had much impact at the Slams since beating Nadal, since he lost in the next round of Wimbledon, he failed to qualify for the US Open, and departed the Australian Open in the second round. But do not discount the possibility that Rosol could help shape events at this summer's Wimbledon Championships.
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