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A night that showcased the beautiful side of sport

By Alex Jones

Tonight is the night of the underdog. A night when David rose up to defeat Goliath not once but twice.

A magical night which first saw Italy seamlessly dismiss the much fancied Germans to claim its place in the final of Euro 2012.

This, a sizeable shock in the footballing world, was paled in to insignificance by events at SW19.

He may have conquered the clay at Roland Garros for a record seventh time just last month but Rafa Nadal came up against a world number 100 who played the match of his life.

Lukas Rosol defied his lowly ranking to smash winner after winner, ace after ace as he took Nadal to five sets under the roof of Centre Court.

Serves that reached 133mph and winners that were hit at 99mph, no this wasn’t Rafa but Rosol, a man playing like his life depended on it.

Nadal sneaked the first set on a tie break before Rosol won the next two 6-4.

A much improved world number two won the fourth set 6-2 and at this stage you thought his Czech opponent had run out of steam. However, Rosol broke Rafa in the first game of the fifth set and played some his best tennis, infact some of the best tennis ever seen at Wimbledon, in the final set.

When the pressure built towards the end of the set Rosol did not fold infact it made him stronger. His last two service games were that of a world beater not a player ranked 100 in the world.

Fittingly Rosol won on an ace before falling to his knees in disbelief over his giantkilling victory.

Just 20 minutes earlier in Warsaw, Italy triumphed over Germany, 2-1, to advance to the final of Euro 2012.

The much fancied Germans failed to translate their early tournament form to the high pressured environment of a Euro 2012 semi final.

Unlike Rosol, the young Germans folded under pressure as an Italian side marshalled by the ever outstanding Andrea Pirlo dominated play.

Clever play by Antonio Cassano saw him cross for ‘Super’ Mario Balotelli to head in past Neuer in the 18th minute.

The Azzurri doubled their lead in the 36th  minute when Balotelli reminded us of his world beating potential by smashing a ball past the helpless Neuer from just inside the area.

From then on Italy controlled the game. Whatever shakiness they had in their defence at the start evaporated as Pirlo & Co effortlessly wrestled control of the match.

Germany never got a foothold in the game. Ozil, Gomez and Schweinsteiger all dissapeared. Their early tournament form deserted them and with that the Germans crashed out with just a penalty to their name in the 90th minute.

It was a truly magnificent night of sport where the underdog rose up. It was a night to make you fall in love with sport all over again

Watch the moment Lukas Rosol made history

4 Comments

  1. Tom says:

    I’ve been going to Wimbledon for 16 years. I have seen the likes of Sampras, Agassi and Federer but never have I seen a performance as good as Rosol last night. He was sensational.

  2. Maria says:

    Rafa just had no answer to Rosol’s power. Has to be Murray’s year!!!

  3. Sam says:

    Hard to think that Rafa has won 23 more games this season than Rosol has won in his whole career! True David vs Goliath

  4. Ian says:

    Sport… bloody hell!

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