(I know, dude. It sucks. But we still love you.)
Oh, my dear sweet friends. Such disappointing news to share with you about Our Hero, Rafael Nadal. He had a very tough day at the office today and wound up losing in the Wimbledon Second Round to 100-ranked Lukas Rosol from Czezh Republic in 5 sets 6-7 (9) 6-4, 6-4, 2-6, 6-4. It's a rough loss for Rafa. Going out this early in the tournament is not what he wanted or what anyone expected. He's gonna lose a lot of ranking points because of this too. And he hasn't faced an exit this early to such a low ranked competitor... ever? Seriously. But as we saw with Serena in the French Open, play enough tennis for enough years and these flukes do turn up.
All we can do is shrug and say, "It happens." Rosol played the match of his life today. Anyone can beat anybody in that kind of rare form, regardless of what the rankings say. Seriously, it was just ace after ace after ace, after service winner for Rosol. There wasn't a lot Rafa could do. In all three sets he lost he suffered an early service break and then didn't even get to see break point chances on Rosol's serve. It wasn't that Rafa wasn't taking his chances, he really wasn't presented with any. It looked like Rafa had turned it around in the 4th set with Rosol reeling, but then they stopped the match for 40 minutes to close the roof due to darkness, and when they resumed play. Rosol had settled, Rafa was stiff and the break in the first game of the 5th set spelled certain doom. Really, Rosol could've/should've won in three sets with Rafa barely edging him 11-9 in the first set tie break.
I'm disappointed for Nadal, but in my heart I felt like he was going to lose this match from the beginning. It's just a gut thing. Rosol's form was too good. Experience would say he could not sustain it over a five set match, but the games were flying by so quickly, I suspected he could and would. Nadal will bounce back from this. It is one loss. He can have his Wimbledon revenge at the Olympics later this summer. My allegiance now completely shifts to Brian Baker, who was also in Rafa's quarter and would've ran into him in the fourth round. Baker is the US comeback story of the year and now I hope he gets through his 3rd round match and then tears through Rosol should he be there in Round 4. Take it all the way Baker.
I know this loss has to hurt Rafa. But all your fans still love you. You are a true champion and will rise to glory again soon! VAMOS!