Rafael Nadal and Lukas Rosol do have history. Rosol did beat Nadal at Wimbledon a few years ago in an epic five match battle however Nadal has won their last two meetings with the last being at Wimbledon last year but who would win their 4th encounter?
Rosol began the match very strongly with a hold of serve to love and Nadal followed up with a hold of serve despite some pressure from Rosol who began with a lovely forehand cross court winner and then held serve to love for the second game running!
Rosol continued to target the backhand corner of Nadal well getting to 30-30 and Nadal on the next point decided to run around the backhand to go for the forehand cross court but ended up slicing it into the net giving Rosol a break point which he took after another error from Nadal!
One word to describe Rosol in the opening 5 games? Incredible! 12/12 points won on serve and the power, depth and accuracy was faultless as he took a 4-1 lead! Error after error and Nadal found himself 0-40 down on serve and despite saving two break points double faulted on the third to give Rosol a 5-1 lead in just over 20 minutes!
Double faults seemed to be catching as Rosol began his first service game with one but the tennis Rosol continued to produce was simply stunning with a lovely drop shot/volley combo to go 30-15 up and finished the set in style just dropping 1 point on serve in the entire set winning 17/18 points on serve and the only won dropped was a double fault!
Can Nadal reply?
Lady luck wasn’t on Nadal’s side as the first point of the set went in Rosol’s favour with a lucky net cord winner! 15-30 quickly became 15-40 with an error at the net from Nadal and from 1-1 in the match Rosol had now won 6 games in a row against the Spaniard!
1-0 became 2-0 as Lukas won his 7th game in a row and at this point looked unstoppable! The next few games were played on serve with Rosol still leading 3-2 with the break but could Nadal get that break of serve back?
Another hold of serve from the Czech player followed for 4-2 and potentially two holds of serve away from winning! Rosol found himself 5-4 up and one game away from causing a first round upset which looked possibly but suddenly Nadal found his first break point of the match!!!
A smash at the net looked like sealing the break of serve but Rosol returned well and forced the erorr at the net for deuce before conjuring up another break point! A backhand winner sealed it for Nadal and suddenly out of nowhere he’s back in the match!
For the first time in the match Nadal took the lead for 6-5! Is the comeback on?
Tennis eh? A forehand cross court winner set up set point for Nadal which was wasted and another which was saved by Rosol with another incredible forehand out wide. Would it be third time lucky for Nadal? It would! Nadal broke to take the set 7-5 and the match went on…
From 6-1 5-3 down to 1-6 7-5 1-0 up with a hold of serve to love for Nadal to begin the set! It went from excellent to good to bad for Rosol as he was broken and quickly went 2-0 down!
Just as you’d expect Nadal to begin to run away with the match he found himself two break points down however he won four points in a row to go 3-0 up!
Complete capitulation from Rosol who then starts moaning to the umpire about Nadal taking too much time when in all honesty he needs to get on with it! He did get on with it as he held serve for the first time in a long time for 1-3!
In a blink of an eye 3-1 quickly became 4-1 with Nadal in full control of the match! A hold of serve to love for Rosol for 2-4 but could he get the break back?
He did get the break of serve back for 3-4 in the set with Nadal complaining that Rosol was sorting out his racket when he was trying to serve!
1-4 to 4-4, who knows what will happen next?
4 more games, 4 more holds of serve but who would win the tie-break?
Rosol got the first mini-break of the tie-break as he went up 1-0 and then 3-0 in the tie-breaker. Nadal got the break back for 3-4 and then 4-4! It was Nadal who made the breakthrough and won the match 1-6 7-5 7-6!
What a roller-coaster!