Rafael Nadal suffered one of his worst career losses last night getting upset by 100th-ranked Lukas Rosol. The 26-year-old Rosol overpower Nadal giving the Spaniard his earliest loss at a Slam since 2005 Wimbledon.
Nadal had been to the finals of that five Grand Slams and just won a seventh French Open. But Rafa hasn’t won a non-clay title in so long.
Nadal will lose any chance of being No. 1 in the near future with the loss and unless he can win the US Open it looks very unlikely he can finish the year back on top.
Rafa will go back home to Mallorca before returning to Wimbledon to compete in the 2012 London Olympics on July 28.
Here’s what Nadal said after the match:
Q. What happened out there? Was he just too good?
RAFAEL NADAL: Oh, c’mon. That’s too simple. In the fifth, yes. Not before, no? In the fifth set he played more than unbelievable. That’s fine.
Before, first three sets, I didn’t play well.
Q. You were complaining a little bit about something he was doing at one point. What was it that he was doing that was bothering you?
RAFAEL NADAL: You know, the bad thing of this is anything that I will say now will sound against me. So is not the right moment for me to say what happened out there because gonna sound an excuse, and I never want to put an excuse after a match like today.
But the umpire say a few things weren’t right.
Q. What were your thoughts about the decision to delay the fifth set and close the roof?
RAFAEL NADAL: For sure wasn’t the best one for me. But that’s what it is and accept. Accept that he came back and played unbelievable the fifth.
I was playing well in the fourth. I think I played a great fourth set. Sure the stop this time didn’t help me. That’s the sport. That’s it.
Only thing that I can do is come back home, rest I need and I deserve. So that’s what I can do, nothing else.
Q. Is it frustrating for you to see a guy who is hitting forehand winners 100 miles an hours, putting in first serves anytime he needs it?
RAFAEL NADAL: That’s happens, no? Playing in this surface these kind of matches can happen. Today happened, and I didn’t have the right inspiration in the first three sets in a few points. To win these kind of matches I must have this inspiration in that moments; I didn’t.
Later was impossible, no? That’s happens when you play against a player who is able to hit the ball very hard, hit the ball without thinking and feeling the pressure.
At the end, when the opponent wants to play like he wanted to play in the fifth, you are in his hands, no? Everything was going right for him in the fifth.
Q. When was the last time somebody served that well against you, especially in a fifth set?
RAFAEL NADAL: Is not the right moment to think for me. Is very, very difficult for me to imagine or think when was the last time. I played a lot of matches. Sorry.
Q. Do you think by not playing well in the first three sets maybe you gave him some confidence that he could actually win?
RAFAEL NADAL: No, I played bad and my return wasn’t work very well. I think my served worked well, but I played with little bit less energy than other times. He had two very good games on the return. I think very good returns, long, and hitting the ball very hard.
I had two breaks in that two sets, and I really didn’t had that chance to have the break back.
Q. You’ve said many, many times how much you love Wimbledon. Can you talk about your feeling now inside after the result?
RAFAEL NADAL: My feeling is what you are watching. I am like this. I am very, very disappointed. Sure, I not very happy. In the end is a second round match. Is not the semifinals or final, so that bothers more, because then you feel that you had the chance to win the title.
I not gonna say in the point of my career today the only thing that going to work for me is the victory, but more or less. So I was very far to win the tournament. I just was in the second round. That’s painful, because always is tough to lose.
But, well, that’s sport. You win, you lose. Last four months were great for me. Was probably one of the best four months of my career, playing unbelievable in the clay court season.
You arrive here, and a little bit of everything. You play against an inspired opponent and I am out. That’s all. Is not a tragedy. Is only a tennis match.
At the end, that’s life. There is much more important things. Sure, I wanted to win, but I lost. That’s it.
Q. When you were told that the roof was going to be closed, you appeared to be surprised. Did you not expect that?
RAFAEL NADAL: I was surprised because takes 30 to 45 minutes. I was very surprised for that. My feeling was is completely new stadium with new roof, so the normal thing is cover the roof in 5, 10 minutes. That was my thought.
So was big surprise for me when they told me they need 30 to 45 minutes. That’s the only thing.
Q. Had you been told beforehand that the roof might be closed because of the light?
RAFAEL NADAL: No.
Q. This loss makes you feel more like powerful inside to fight for the gold medal?
RAFAEL NADAL: No. If you think that, you don’t understand the sport.
Q. You play always wanting to win, and then this loss is a disappointed as well. Does this loss give you more energy inside to fight for the gold medal?
RAFAEL NADAL: I gonna repeat. I understand your question from the beginning. I think the answer is what I said.
When you win you have more confidence for the next tournaments. Is not when you lose you have more hunger to win the next. That’s not the true. When you are winning you feel more confident, you feel, you know, playing better. When you lose, the confidence is less for the next tournaments. That’s for everybody.
But seriously, doesn’t affect my motivation for the next tournament win or lose. That’s all.
Q. You said you were going to take the rest you need and deserve. Are you in some ways exhausted by the last four months?
RAFAEL NADAL: Exhausted? I don’t really understand exactly what the word is, ‘exhausted.’ But I feel very well mentally. But physically, you know, you need to rest. I played for the last six months playing almost every match possible in the tournaments that I played.
And, sure, physically I need to stop a little bit.
Q. After what you saw of your opponent, particularly in the last set, do you think he can go on to be a threat in this tournament? Can he achieve more wins? Can he go a long way in the tournament?
RAFAEL NADAL: I don’t know. I don’t know. I don’t know. How old is him?
Q. He’s 26.
RAFAEL NADAL: He didn’t in the past, but you never know what’s going on in the future. The thing is today he played great. He played special.
Sure, if he played the way he played the fifth set, you can win against everybody. But I think everybody who follows tennis knows that that’s very difficult to do every day.
But if he’s able to do it this time, he will have his chance. I wish him all the best.
Q. What surprised you most today about your own performance?
RAFAEL NADAL: Not much, seriously. Nothing special, no? I know before the match how I feel, and I know probably if the opponent plays the way he plays I will have problems. I had more than problems.
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