“Today I was somewhere else and I’m really happy for this,” said Lukas Rosol at the end of day four, “Still, I cannot find the words. I still can’t believe it. It’s like a dream for me. 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,”
During the last year’s Roland Garros, a Challenger-level player Rosol popped up out of nowhere as a qualifier eliminating the 2010 semifinalist Jurgen Melzer in five sets. The Czech player displayed aggressive & uncompromising tennis and mental resistance in that Parisian encounter, but who could expect that one year later he would upset much more better left-handed player – Rafael Nadal on Wimbledon Centre Court? In the 1st set Rosol  showed good tennis but blew three set points, usually in these circumstances players melt facing Nadal, but the Czech responded otherwise – breaking Nadal’s serve in the opening game of the 2nd set. He was winning service games convincingly and another break (in the 3rd game of the 3rd set) allowed him to take a 2-1 lead. Well, two years ago Rafa found himself in a similar situation in back-to-back matches with Robin Haase and Philipp Petzschner, but won sets No. 4 & 5 easily. It seemed that 26-year-old Rosol playing his first Wimbledon, would share the loss of the Dutchman and German when he was broken twice in the 4th set. There was 8:53 p.m. the local time, and officials decided to stop the match to cover the court with the retractable roof. After a 30-minute procedure, Rosol broke Rafa with a lucky return to ’30’ in the opening game indoors. He sensed his amazing chance and went for his shots, until the end of the match he was serving and hitting the ground-strokes furiously with tremendous self-confidence, even when he didn’t convert 30/0 at 4:2 and 30/15 at 5:3, kept his composure and positive attitude. And then came probably the sweetest game of his career at 5 to 4: ace – blistering forehand DTL in the 3rd stroke – ace – and ace once again (his 22nd of the day)! Rosol fell on grass frontally and kissed the court: 6-7(9) 6-4 6-4 2-6 6-4 in 3 hours 18 minutes! “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 [set]. I was playing well in the fourth. I think I played a great fourth set.” Men’s tennis waited very long time for such a huge surprise – Nadal hasn’t been removed from the draw in the first week of a Grand Slam tournament since US Open 2005 when he was stunned by James Blake in the third round at the US Open, but the Spaniard at the time had only 1 out of his 11 major titles. Andy Murray has the toughest Wimbledon draw since he became a title contender in 2008. In the first round he faced a player who had beaten him four times (Nikolay Davydenko), in the second round an always tricky service-giant Ivo Karlovic. The Croat knew that against such a great retriever like Murray, bigger risk than usual at the 2nd serve was required, he was serving with an average 189 kph his second serve but it let him down in the crucial moments of two sets – Karlovic served a double fault on set point down in the 1st set and at 4-all in the 4th set tie-break. Murray showed a sign of huge relief after a 7-5 6-7 6-2 7-6 win in over three hours. He next meets another tricky opponent – a rival since the junior times – Marcos Baghdatis. If he beats the Cypriot, no easy matches in round 4 and quarterfinals either.
Two years ago, John Isner and Nicolas Mahut played at Wimbledon their legendary first round marathon which will be remembering in the history books forever, the destiny gathered them again in the first round last year, this year it’d seemed they should have played for the third year in succession – in the second round, however, Alejandro Falla eliminated Isner 7-5 in the 5th set and repeated this scoreline in the deciding set against Mahut in a two-day encounter (the match suspended at 3-all in the 4th set due to darkness). The Colombian led 4:1 (30-all) in the 5th set, Mahut came back and made a forehand error from a comfortable position leading 30/15 in the 11th game, in the following game he sent a backhand long trying to save the first match point. The Frenchman appeared on courts daily in the first four days because his first round match against Paolo Lorenzi was suspended in the 4th set as well. Falla wasn’t the only player to win back-to-back five-setters. The same thing did Viktor Troicki – Serbian player known for his chocking abilities survived two dramatic matches. An interesting notice – since the loss to Falla at the US Open ’11, Troicki has been involved in seven consecutive major matches which went to the distance #.
As it could be expected, the inconsistent Ernests Gulbis two days after astonishing performance as an underdog, lost his match as a favorite to an unexperienced young Pole Jerzy Janowicz , for whom it’s the first Grand Slam tournament. Gulbis was serving solidly again but his return games were pretty awful. Anyway he was two points away from the victory at 6:5* (30/15) in the 5th set. The 21-year-old qualifier Janowicz (failed his seven previous major attempts in qualifying tournaments), celebrated the biggest win of his life on the knees nodding in disbelief. He now meets Florian Mayer, who prevailed a German duel with Petzschner overcoming his compatriot from a two-sets-to-love down for the second time in career, withstanding a mini-m.p. at 3:4 in the final set ## Petzschner has already lost five matches from this convenient position. The “master of slice” just like Troicki played seven consecutive five-setters in Grand Slam events (US Open 2009 – Wimbledon 2010). Milos Raonic  still awaits being the first Canadian in the Top 20. Raonic disappoints in Grand Slams and it prevents him from this milestone. In Australia in a crucial 3rd set tie-break against Hewitt missed extremely easy overhead trying to save a set point, in Paris couldn’t break Monaco even once in a long five-setter, in the last second round match in London (suspended at 3:3 in the 3rd set) against Sam Querrey wasted set points in two tie-breaks and left the court with a 7-6 6-7 6-7 4-6 loss. If he wants to be a serious treat he has to work harder on return games with his coach Galo Blanco.
Longest match:4 hours, 13 minutes. Mardy Fish d. James Ward 6-3, 5-7, 6-4, 6-7, 6-3 Most aces:39 – Ernests Gulbis, lost to Jerzy Janowicz in five sets
15-14 Jurgen Melzer, 15-5 Rafael Nadal, 10-9 Mardy Fish, 9-8 Viktor Troicki, 7-7 Philipp Petzschner, 5-5 Alejandro Falla, 4-5 Florian Mayer, 4-4 Lukas Lacko, 3-5 Nicolas Mahut, 3-0 Lukas Rosol, 2-5 Ernests Gulbis, 2-1 James Ward, 1-3 Martin Klizan, 1-1 Jerzy Janowicz
It seems that the third round at Wimbledon was a turning point in Janowicz’s career. 21-year-old Pole after that achievement, won back-to-back Challengers (Scheveningen, Poznan) and jumped from No. 136 to 82 within a month. He has won 22 out of 25 matches starting with a Challenger title in Rome (May) – he entered that event as No. 189.