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Bite-sized highlights from Day 4

by Courtney Nguyen
Thursday 28 June 2012

Adios, Rafa, Hello Lukas: Heads are still spinning as we try to make sense as to how exactly Lukas Rosol, ranked No. 100 in the world, was able to steel himself and play out-of-his-mind tennis for five sets to oust one of the greatest competitors tennis has ever seen in Rafael Nadal. It was a star-making turn for Rosol, whose Wikipedia page is surely getting millions of hits right now, as tennis fans around the world seek to make sense of such a shocking result. The lasting image I'll have is the constant sense of belief that shone through Rosol for over three hours on Centre Court. We're so used to seeing tennis players wear every emotion on their face, to show their intensity, frustration, and excitement in every snarl and scowl. But for Rosol it was a look of impassive purpose, as he strutted around the court as though he'd been there all along. Never underestimate the effect of nerves and tension that can affect a tennis player's every stroke. Rosol admitted he was boiling inside but he struggled to keep it all in. "Yeah, maybe was inside. I closed it inside. I just don't want to show him what is in me, you know." Oh, Lukas. I think you showed everyone what's inside. Pure unadulterated guts.

The Wimbledon experience: I headed outside to watch some real-live tennis today and squeezed my way around Court 9 to catch a glimpse of the Fabulous Baker Boy, Brian Baker. One thing that happens when you're crammed around the outer courts is that you quickly make friends. I overheard a couple to my right talking about the match, excitedly looking at the order the play, and the husband very adorably explaining the game of tennis to his wife. It turns out the couple were in Europe for their 30th anniversary and the husband planned the trip in order to check Wimbledon off his "bucket list". Their excitement was absolutely infectious and I confess that I began to pay less attention to the match before me and more to chatting with them. Their goal for the day was to get a Centre Court resale ticket in hopes of catching a glimpse of Rafael Nadal. Boy, I sure do hope they got that ticket.  

Upset of the day: Overshadowed by Rosol's win was 30-year old Mirjana Lucic's straight set upset of No. 9 seed Marion Bartoli. Lucic, a 1999 semi-finalist here, saluted her box with a beaming smile and an emotional thump to the heart. These are the days when all those moments spent doubting yourself and your career go by the wayside. Good on her.

Judy Murray - hardest working woman in tennis: You can't walk around the grounds of Wimbledon without spotting Judy Murray. The new Fed Cup captain for Great Britain (oh yeah, and mother to Andy) has been spotted all over the grounds, whether her British charges as they play, screaming into Ivan Lendl's ear as she supports her son, or at various matches scouting. No wonder she gets away with eating all those cakes. Burn, baby, burn.

Stat of the day

0

Points lost on Lukas Rosol's serve in his last three service games of the match. Now that is what you call clutch.

He said

"It's always open. It's sport. Nobody's unbeaten. Everybody can lose and everybody can win. We're just people. We're just humans. Everybody can win."

The man of the day, Lukas Rosol, after he handed Rafael Nadal his worst loss at Wimbledon since 2005, when he lost to Gilles Muller in the second round.

She said

"Women have fought so long to get equal prize money. It was a big challenge and nobody really supported us. It's been a few years since we've gotten that. We're all really proud of it, and we continue to build the sport and make it bigger. No matter what anyone says, or the criticisms that we get, despite everything else, I mean, I'm sure there are a few more people that watch my matches than his, so..."

Maria Sharapova responds to Gilles Simon's recent comments criticising equal prize money paid out at Grand Slams.


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