Tennis

Haka inspired Rosol's rampage

2012-06-29 19:12
Lukas Rosol (AP Photo)

London - Czech tennis writers were working overtime at Wimbledon on Friday, not just dealing with the national euphoria over Lukas Rosol's incredible win over Rafa Nadal but also with queues of reporters trying to find out who exactly the journeyman is.

Rosol does not appear in the media book containing the profiles of players on the ATP Tour let alone the official Wimbledon programme, other than in the daily updated draw sheet which records in black and white the biggest shock seen at the All England Club for many a year.

Internet searches also reveal little about the player, other than he comes from Brno - the Czech city that has the distinction of having an asteroid named after it and being the birthplace of the Sten light machine gun.

Further investigation throws up a few more titbits about the 26-year-old whose performance in a 6-7 6-4 6-4 2-6 6-4 victory under the Centre Court roof was described by fellow Czech Radek Stepanek as like a gambler having a lucky day.

"Everybody was definitely shocked, because, it was - if you put a million on red yesterday, it was there every single time," Stepanek said on Friday after succumbing to champion Novak Djokovic in the third round despite briefly threatening another huge upset.

"He was just swinging, swinging, and it was very impressive from his side what he did yesterday."

The 1.96 metre tall Rosol sports a huge tattoo which covers most of his left leg, apparently inspired by the Maori haka, the ritual wardance made famous by New Zealand's mighty All Blacks rugby team.

"It represents the haka and it says a lot about the way Lukas thinks about tennis," said Czech tennis reporter Jan Joroch, breaking off from writing about the man who has suddenly become a household name back home.

"He plays aggressive tennis, to win every point, not waiting until the other guy loses it. Last night it worked but it's not always the case. He never changes his approach and the problem is that often it doesn't work.

"But he's a fighter, he has great charisma, he has the tattoos on the shoulder and on the calf."

Joroch said the Czechs were still taking in the enormity of 100th-ranked Rosol's win over 11-times grand slam champion Nadal, but sounded none too confident of him beating Germany's Philipp Kohlschreiber in round three.

"I think we are still in shock really," he said.

"It's hard to play like this again. Sometimes he has a great day and can beat anybody but he can lose to anyone too.

"He is a very nice guy, very honest, he says what he thinks and he can be controversial a bit sometimes."

Despite his scintillating display, which included 65 clean winners, few are waging much money on Rosol reaching such heights again.

Former Wimbledon champion Jimmy Connors tweeted: "In tennis we call Rosol a stopper, he won't win or even go deep in tourney but he will stop a top seed from advancing at Wimbledon."

While Czech-born Wimbledon great Martina Navratilova added on her Twitter site: "Happy for Lukas Rosol, but really feeling bad for Rafa, would be shocked if Rosol can get anywhere near that form again... agree with Jimmy."

Even his Davis Cup colleague Stepanek said Rosol's luck may not last. "Tomorrow he will have to prove what he did yesterday, and that will be the question," Stepanek said.

Read more on:    wimbledon  |  lukas rosol  |  rafael nadal  |  tennis
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