LONDON: Lukas Rosol yesterday backed himself to deliver another Wimbledon knockout blow to Rafael Nadal and repeat his stunning 2012 defeat of the Spaniard which sent shockwaves through the sport.
The 28-year-old Czech was 100 in the world, scraping a living on the tour when he beat Nadal in a bad-tempered, five-set second round upset.
Rosol’s previous five visits to the All England Club had all ended in first round losses in qualifying, but his big-hitting style condemned Nadal to his earliest defeat at the tournament in seven years.
Rosol, now 52 in the world, said he will have nothing to fear from Nadal and was confident of pulling off another upset when they meet again at the same stage of the tournament today.
“It’s Nadal who has to win, I have nothing to lose,” Rosol told Czech media at Wimbledon.
“I can create another surprise. I want to impose my style on him. The shorter the rallies, the better for me.”
Following his defeat in 2012, Nadal was forced off the tour for seven months to rest his battered knees.
Rosol lost in the next round at Wimbledon and since that day two years ago he has won just three more matches at the majors.
The Czech, who described his 2012 win as a “miracle”, said that when he finds his aggressive style, he is a hard player to beat.
“Two years ago, everything was perfect, my head was clear and when I am like this, I am very hard to play against. I convinced myself that I was very hard to beat,” he added in interviews with Czech dailies, Sport and Dnes.
Nadal avenged his 2012 humiliation at Doha this year with a comfortable straight sets win, but Rosol believes the two-time champion at Wimbledon is at his most vulnerable in the early rounds.
“Nadal is the king of clay,” he said in deference to the Spaniard’s nine French Open titles.
“But he is more vulnerable on other surfaces, especially grass. If you want to beat one of the big stars at a Grand Slam, the early rounds are the best.” The match in 2012 was a bad-tempered affair with Rosol and Nadal involved in an ugly shoulder charge at the net.
“When we see each other, we say hello. That’s all but I don’t have any problems with him,” said Rosol. — AFP
This article first appeared in The Edge Financial Daily, on June 26, 2014.