Rosol stuns Nadal to clear Wimbledon route for Murray

WORLD No100 Lukas Rosol hailed his performance as a miracle after producing one of the biggest upsets in grand slam tournament history to eliminate second seed Rafael Nadal.

The Czech’s stunning 6-7 (9-11), 6-4, 6-4, 2-6, 6-4 victory makes him the first since 2005 to defeat Nadal at such an early stage of a grand slam and owed much to an array of merciless groundstrokes to which even the decorated Spaniard was no match.

In what was unquestionably the most impressive feat of his career, Rosol developed a ruthlessness that very few have ever equalled and admitted that the result had even come as a personal surprise.

“It is a miracle for me, I never expected this,” said Rosol. “There are so many emotions. He is a superstar but I played unbelievable today. I hope I can play one more match like this.

“I am happy and congratulations to Rafa. He played a good match but I was better.”

In every sense that Rosol’s victory was an unprecedented individual success, for British No1 Andy Murray it provided the most incredible of incentives. Nadal last summer defeated Murray in the tournament’s semi-finals and was on course to again meet him this year at the same stage, so the removal of such a talented rival makes the prospect of reaching the final far greater in reality.

Murray had earlier overcome Ivo Karlovic 7-5, 6-7 (7-5), 6-2, 7-6 (7-4) to secure his own passage to the third round, though fellow Brit James Ward could not match such success during his defiant 6-3, 5-7, 6-4, 6-7 (7-3), 6-3 defeat to Mardy Fish. Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova also advanced.

TODAY’S HIGHLIGHTS
Men’s singles
● N Djokovic [1] v R Stepanek [28]
● R Federer [3] v J Benneteau [29]
● M Youzhny [26] v J Tipsarevic [8]

Women’s singles
● M Sharapova [1] v S Hsieh
● A Radwanska [3] v H Watson
● V Zvonareva [12] v K Clijsters