Lukas Rosol: “I Still Can’t Believe It, It’s Like Dream For Me”
In one of the great upsets in tennis history, unknown Lukas Rosol stunned Rafael Nadal yesterday in the second round of the Wimbledon Championships.
Nadal, who had just won the French Open, was a 5-time Wimbledon finalist and had never lost so early at a Grand Slam since 2005 Wimbledon when Gilles Muller got him.
Rosol is ranked No. 100 and he had never even won a grass court match until this month. Both Rosol and Nadal are 26.
Here’s what the Czech said after his big win:
Q. How would you describe what you did tonight.
LUKAS ROSOL: Still don’t know, you know. So many emotion. I didn’t expect that I can be in.
I’m sorry for Rafa, but today I was somewhere else and I’m really happy for this, you know.
Still I cannot find the words. I still can’t believe it. It’s like dream for me.
Q. What were you feeling in the fifth set when it seemed you couldn’t miss?
LUKAS ROSOL: After fourth set I had pain a little bit. I just came to the locker room and I took a shower. I was by physio all the time. When I came on the court I didn’t feel anything.
I was just like somewhere else and I believe myself and I knew that I could make it.
Q. You lost five times here in first round. Suddenly we see you play so well. Forehand was outstanding.
LUKAS ROSOL: Because it’s also because I only play Wimbledon quallies. I came just day before and I wasn’t really prepared, good prepared, for the tournament.
But this year I change and I play already Queen’s and Eastbourne, a couple more weeks. If I play on grass more I think I can get better.
Q. No fear also.
LUKAS ROSOL: Yeah, maybe was inside. I closed it inside. I just don’t want to show him what is in me, you know.
In the fifth set, I didn’t feel anything. I was just so even much concentrate on myself, and it works. Yeah.
Q. Did you feel when they decided to put the roof on that worked to your benefit? Rafa didn’t seem happy.
LUKAS ROSOL: Of course I feel. There was no more wind, so was a little bit not better for me, but it was about the first game. If he hold the serve he could break me next game, and you never know what can happen.
But it was also about the first game. After this game, you know, I felt if I just hold the serve, it can work. Yeah.
Q. Where does this moment rank in your career?
LUKAS ROSOL: Where is this match in my career? It’s the highest. Never, never happened to me. Also, Wimbledon Centre Court, you know, I didn’t expect it. I was going on the court before just to see how it’s looks like, everything, how many people is there.
Yeah, I still don’t believe it a little bit.
Q. What were your expectations before this match?
LUKAS ROSOL: Just to play three good sets, you know. Just to don’t lose 6 0, 6 1, 6 1.
Q. In the second set he bumped into you on a changeover. Do you feel he did that on purpose?
LUKAS ROSOL: Yeah, it’s okay. He wanted to take my concentration. It was in second set or third set? Yeah, but it was okay. I mean, I knew that he will try something, but I was concentrate and was good.
Q. Why do you think he was upset?
LUKAS ROSOL: He was not upset. He talked to me a little bit. He just wanted to take my concentration. I think it’s normal somebody do it like this.
Q. When you first came to England, if someone came up to you and said that you would beat Rafael Nadal in five, what would you say?
LUKAS ROSOL: Good question. I don’t know what could I say. Nobody did it. I mean, maybe it’s once in life you can play like this against Rafael Nadal on Centre Court and you can win against him. You know, it’s not easy.
I never expect it can happen, something like this. So, yeah, I don’t know what to say exactly.
Q. You had a win in the first round as well. This is a great upset. What do you think are your prospects for the rest of the tournament?
LUKAS ROSOL: Yeah, was very good win also against Ivan Dodig in first round. Second round is always open because everybody is already good shape. For next rounds I want to stay like this. I think if I beat Rafa now so I can beat anyone. It’s just tennis and everybody’s human.
Q. Back to where you clashed in the third or second set, were you surprised by his reaction? It’s quite unsportsmanlike for him.
LUKAS ROSOL: I was surprised that he can do it on the Centre Court Wimbledon, you know. It’s like something wrong, you know. But, I mean, I didn’t expect it also. Was his choice. You know, he did it. What should I say?
Q. Was actually happened?
LUKAS ROSOL: I just stop. 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 apologize. And I say, Okay, okay, okay. It was okay.
Q. Of all the upsets that you’re familiar with in sports, not just involving you, anybody, how would you compare this one?
LUKAS ROSOL: Can you ask me again? I don’t understand really.
Q. Of all of the surprising results in sports, how would you compare this one?
LUKAS ROSOL: Good question. I have no idea. It’s like how can I compare which sport, yeah, like this that I won against Rafa? So many. I don’t really know. I have no idea. Like just some B team in Czech Republic can beat Real Madrid, you know, soccer. It’s something like this.
Q. Do you think once the Centre Court was covered it changed the condition of the game? Do you think it changed the conditions?
LUKAS ROSOL: I just said there was no more wind. Didn’t change anything. I didn’t know what to expect. Was first time for me. He already play like this I guess a couple matches before. For me, I don’t know what to expect from this. I was surprised. I mean, yeah, I don’t know what to expect.
So I just went on the court and tried to hit the ball same like before. Was good.
Q. You said you just hoped to play three good sets but were probably expecting to go out. How does this affect your plans?
LUKAS ROSOL: No, I stay by family, you know, my friends, five minutes from here. I think there will be no problems with this, playing here more. I’m pretty happy.
But I don’t think who I’m going to play next week, some other tournament, you know, in Germany. I want to stay here long as we can.
Q. How is it possible that you were never ranked higher than 65?
LUKAS ROSOL: Just, you know, you have to believe yourself, and then it’s very good. My coach gave me very good tactic. He was watching so many videos. He told me everything what he gonna do, and, yeah, was good teamwork.
I mean, I didn’t expect it, but I played relaxed, you know. Sometimes I can wake up and I can beat anyone, you know. Some days I know I can lose to player at 500. I need to keep going same level.
Q. What did your coach tell you?
LUKAS ROSOL: He done a good tactic, you know. I cannot tell it to no one, you know. Then Rafa will change everything.
But, yeah, he was watching couple matches on video, exactly what he did. He tell me what he’s doing, how long should I sit in the bench. Yeah.
Q. Before this your best win was what?
LUKAS ROSOL: Against Jurgen Melzer, second round in the French Open last year. This is the higher one.
Q. Now it’s wide open, so I guess the other players are pleased.
LUKAS ROSOL: It’s always open. It’s sport. Nobody’s unbeaten. Everybody can lose and everybody can win. But they have more percentage to do it. We’re just people. We’re just humans. Everybody can win.
Q. Which surface is your favorite?
LUKAS ROSOL: Good question for me. I like all the surfaces, but I need to get used to it. If I practice more on the surface, I get used to it and I like the surface always.
Clay court is my favorite.
Q. About the Davis Cup match against Argentina.
LUKAS ROSOL: I cannot tell you. I do not know if I will be on the team still. They will tell me before, one month before.
But I hope will be good match against Argentina. They are pretty strong at home.
Q. The last two times you came off the bench really quick. Was that because you smelled blood?
LUKAS ROSOL: Before the last game?
Q. In the last set.
LUKAS ROSOL: I didn’t feel pain. I didn’t feel anything. I was in a trance a little bit. That’s best. I had my adrenaline so high, so I was playing good.
Q. What did you feel when you won and dove onto the grass?
LUKAS ROSOL: Just after the match I still just I just feel that I won the match. I don’t know who I beat or something. I just felt that I won and it’s already behind me.
Before the last game I was a little bit, you know, like inside I’m not sure if I will be shaking or not because was first time against Rafa and first time also in Wimbledon Centre Court.
You never know what to expect. So was not easy, and I survive.
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