In a tournament of shocking early upsets, 2012 Wimbledon just got its biggest. Second-seeded Rafael Nadal was taken down by relatively unknown Lukas Rosol in a five-set stunner, 6-7 (11-9) 6-4, 6-4, 2-6, 6-4.
As expected, Nadal took the first set, but there were certainly signs that this was not going to be a cakewalk for Rafa. He had to go to a tiebreaker to do so.
Undeterred by losing the tiebreaker, Rosol immediately bounced back and took the next two sets 6-4, and he managed to get under Nadal's skin in the process.
The usually poised and gracious Nadal could be seen bumping into Rosol in the middle of a changeover. It was on a part of the court where there is a narrow path between the chair umpire and the net post.
Typically, Nadal is not going to think anything about this narrow transfer. He will graciously let his opponent go by while he waits. This time was different. He seemed to make sure the two would cross at the same time. He then also seemed to lower his shoulder into Rosol as the two crossed.
Nadal's frustration was no doubt in part due to his poor play, but it also had to do with his opponent. Rosol is very active pre-serve. He moves around and makes noise. It is likely that this, combined with Nadal's struggles, irked the usually unflappable Nadal to the point of this mini-confrontation.
The service game played a huge role in this match. Nadal was slightly off on his, while Rosol was nothing less than punishing.
The confrontation did next to nothing to change the course of this match. Nadal bounced back to cruise in the fourth, but was handled fairly easily in the fifth for a shocking early exit.