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Lukas Rosol lost at Roland Garros — who is he? That’s the whole point

Matt Zemek



Geoff Burke -- USA TODAY Sports

Lukas Rosol lost on Monday at Roland Garros.


Lukas Rosol.


Come on, you know, the guy who beat Rafael Nadal at Wimbledon in 2012 and strutted about the lawns of the All England Club. The guy who swaggered and puffed out his chest and acted like he owned Centre Court.


The guy who served huge and played fearlessly against one of the legends of tennis on that one day seven years ago.


Yes. Who?

Who is Lukas Rosol?

That is exactly the larger point of this brief story.

Lukas Rosol, who lost to Lloyd Harris in five sets on Monday in the round of 128 in Paris, has done virtually nothing of note since that one match on that one day in 2012 when he caught lightning in a bottle.

Rosol — clearly in possession of enough talent to beat Rafael Nadal, owner of 17 major titles — could never build on that day, at least not to any meaningful extent.

Contrast Rosol’s One Great Upset with another all-time tennis upset, Lori McNeil’s takedown of Steffi Graf at Wimbledon in 1994. McNeil made the semifinals that year.

McNeil was not a giant in women’s tennis, but she made the quarters or better at three of the four majors, and the semis at two majors (Wimbledon and the U.S. Open). She won 436 singles matches. She made the fourth round at a few majors and the third round at several more.

Not bad. Not bad at all.

Rosol has never made the fourth round at any major. He has reached the third round only twice since his Nadal upset. The fourth round of Indian Wells in 2015 is the only fourth-round-or-better showing in his entire career at the four majors or the nine Masters 1000 tournaments. He has toiled in obscurity, and the obscurity is the point to emphasize.


Rosol will be remembered as The Guy Who Beat Nadal That One Day… because he sure won’t be remembered for anything else.

Lori McNeil made something of her upset, and made something of her career. She won’t be remembered just for one match, but for a larger body of achievement.

As Nadal guns for a 12th Roland Garros title, we can all see how much that one match at Wimbledon has resonated seven years later: not one bit.


Matt Zemek is the co-editor of Tennis With An Accent with Saqib Ali. Matt is the lead writer for the site and helps Saqib with the TWAA podcast, produced by Radio Influence at Matt has written professionally about men's and women's tennis since 2014 for multiple outlets: Comeback Media, FanRagSports, and independently at Patreon, where he maintains a tennis site. You can reach Matt by e-mail: You can find him on Twitter at @mzemek.

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