Rosol admits he went into a trance to trounce Nadal

Czech world No 100 has as little idea as anyone how he beat the great Spaniard

Wimbledon

Andy who? Forget Murray, the most talked-about man at Wimbledon yesterday was a 26-year-old Czech with a love of ice hockey and tattoos. Lukas Rosol, ranked 100 in the world, came blinking into the practice courts at Aorangi Park as if stuck in a dream, not quite sure if the night before was a fiction.

A clue was in the number of people stopping to say hello, including the man from the BBC, who led an impressively early media assault on the nobody who beat the great Rafa Nadal. Rosol was preparing for his doubles match alongside equally anonymous Mikhail Kukushkin, and there was much to ask, starting with: Who are you?

It is a question often put, even at home, where he reached 'B' status as a celebrity by virtue of his marriage, now over, to a long-jumper and heptathlete with model looks, Denisa Rosolova. He also shares a name with a star of ice hockey, a sport which carries far more weight than racket and ball in the Czech Republic and which proved handy when trying to get into a nightclub in his native Brno.

Apart from the astonishing level of tennis reached against Nadal, which took him as much by surprise as his opponent, the striking feature associated with Rosol was the inky tribute on his left calf to a Maori warrior. The depiction of a scene from a haka stretches almost from knee to ankle. There is another grand design on his shoulder, this of a serpent. The nod to killers of the species is clear. For the moment he is one.

Nadal was undone by the freakish alignment of 130mph-plus serves and 90mph groundstrokes, all delivered with the accuracy of a laser beam. Asked how he managed to bring this preternatural form to Centre Court against a player with 11 grand slams in his locker, Rosol rummaged through the bric-a-brac cluttering his brain and came up with… well, voodoo.

"I was just like somewhere else. I believe in myself and knew that I could make it. I didn't want to show Rafa what was inside me. I was so concentrated and in a trance a little bit. I don't know how I won it. It just happened."

Rosol was no more scientific when assessing his chances against Philipp Kohlschreiber today. "I think if I beat Rafa I can beat anyone. It is just tennis and everyone is human. This is sport. Everybody can lose and everybody can win. We're just people."

Rosol slept like a baby after his win, which means he was wide awake at 3am reworking in his mind every second. "I had no trouble getting to sleep but when I woke I could not fall asleep again. I rang my mum. She was watching and cheering for me. I hope I can play like this again. Hopefully it will give me a big advantage. They will see that I beat Nadal."

Rosol revealed that the vanquished hero wished him well in the locker room. "He said good luck, and that I played well. I said thank you." Like the rest of us, Nadal was probably shaking his head, wondering how a stranger to Grand Slams, who in four Challenger events this year had progressed no further than one semi-final, could find the game to take him down.

There is always the Euro 2012 final tomorrow and the prospect of a Spanish victory over Italy to serve as restorative balm. Or is there? "What do you think of the football?" Nadal asked an acquaintance earlier in the week. "I think Spain have been lucky," came the reply. "So do I," confessed Nadal. An omen perhaps?

Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'
Sarah Lucas is the perfect artist to represent Britain at the Venice Biennale

Flesh in Venice

Sarah Lucas has filled the British pavilion at the Venice Biennale with slinky cats and casts of her female friends' private parts. It makes you proud to be a woman, says Karen Wright
11 best anti-ageing day creams

11 best anti-ageing day creams

Slow down the ageing process with one of these high-performance, hardworking anti-agers
Juventus 2 Real Madrid 1: Five things we learnt, including Iker Casillas is past it and Carlos Tevez remains effective

Juventus vs Real Madrid

Five things we learnt from the Italian's Champions League first leg win over the Spanish giants
Ashes 2015: Test series looks a lost cause for England... whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket

Ashes series looks a lost cause for England...

Whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket, says Stephen Brenkley
Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power