Lukas Rosol of the Czech Republic reacts after winning his Gentlemen's Singles second round match against Rafael Nadal on day four of the Wimbledon.
Lukas Rosol of the Czech Republic reacts after winning his Gentlemen's Singles second round match against Rafael Nadal on day four of the Wimbledon. Clive Rose - Getty Images

Major Wimbledon upset as Nadal loses

"LUKAS who?"

That's what three-time Wimbledon champion John McEnroe said after unheralded Czech Lukas Rosol caused shockwaves around the tennis world with a stunning five-set victory over world No.2 Rafael Nadal.

While no one knew who the world No.100 was prior to Thursday, "Lukas" is now trending on social media networks after his 6-7 (9-11) 6-4 6-4 2-6 6-4 second-round win at Wimbledon.

"It's like a miracle for me," said Rosol, flabbergasted like the rest of the tennis community.

"I never expected this. It's just so many emotions I don't know what to say. I'm very sorry for him I played unbelievable today."

To put this upset - one of the biggest in the sport's history - into perspective, Rosol is making his Wimbledon debut, while Nadal is a two-time champion.

Nadal has been in the final each time in his last five attempts at the All England Club.

Rosol has failed to qualify for the event five straight years - winning just one set.

He had never won a Tour-level match on grass prior to the Championships.

And the contrasts go on between the two 26-year-olds - one an 11-time major champion and the other a journeyman who has only won three matches in five majors prior.

"What an inspirational performance," said McEnroe, commentating for US network ESPN.

"It's an inspiration to many players especially the ones in the minor leagues, they can see that it's all worth it.

"It makes you realize that's why they play, that's why it's sport - you never know what's going to happen."

When the Spaniard took the first set tiebreaker 11-9, many expected Rosol would go away - but he didn't.

And when Nadal took the fourth set convincingly, the momentum was well in the No.2 seed's favour and the experts were convinced Rosol would walk away happy after a valiant effort.

"He (Nadal) wears you out, both physically and mentally," McEnroe said.

"You would think there would be some type of let down but nothing at all."

Instead, the 196cm Czech was impervious to the pressure and put on a dominant performance which included 65 winners and just 29 unforced errors in the 3hr 18min match.

Nadal wasn't bad - 41 winners and 16 errors - but he wasn't out of this world like his opponent.

Against one of the game's top returners, Rosol won 20 of 23 points on serve in the final set with just 48% of his booming first serves coming back from Nadal.

"Today I was somewhere else and I'm really happy for this," Rosol said.

"Still, I cannot find the words. I still can't believe it. It's like a dream for me."

After Nadal battled back to win the fourth set, play was suspended to close the Centre Court roof with sunset looming.

When the match resumed 40 minutes later, Rosol broke for the fourth time to take a 1-0 lead and didn't look back.

He showed no fear when he served for the match at 5-4, going ace, forehead winner, ace, ace for what was a remarkable close-out game.

"Before the last game, I was not sure if I will be shaking or not because it was the first time against Rafa and the first time also in Wimbledon Centre Court," Rosol said.

"You never know what to expect, so it was not easy, and I survived."

Rosol next faces No. 27 seed Philipp Kohlschreiber of Germany on Saturday.

The bracket busting match has left a wide open half of the draw that has several players, British hope Andy Murray and Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga included, with a realistic shot at making their first Wimbledon final.

American Andy Roddick is the only player in that section of the draw to have reached the Wimbledon final.

Rosol is the lowest ranked player to defeat Nadal since Nicolas Mahut, then-ranked 106th, upset the Spaniard at the Queen's Championships in 2007.

Nadal lost before the second week of a major tournament for just the fourth time and the first time since 2005, when he went out in the second round at Wimbledon to Gilles Muller.

The loss ended his bid to return to World No.1.

"For sure, it wasn't the best one for me," said Nadal.

"But that's what it is. I accept that he came back and played unbelievable in the fifth. I was playing well in the fourth."

"When an opponent plays like he wanted to play in the fifth, you are in his hands," Nadal said.

"Playing in this surface, these kind of matches can happen and today happened."

Sure did, but no one can really believe it.

Finals fever hits Whitsunday United as two teams secure spot

Premium Content Finals fever hits Whitsunday United as two teams secure spot

‘Miracle saves’ help squad score a place in the big dance while a ‘gutsy effort’...

Call for PM to pull Christensen ‘into line’ over China

Premium Content Call for PM to pull Christensen ‘into line’ over China

‘What the local member has done is, he’s gone out of his way to cause diplomatic...

‘I don’t care’: Act of defiance blindsides Premier

Premium Content ‘I don’t care’: Act of defiance blindsides Premier

Labor candidate Mike Brunker urges voters to put LNP last