No, Nadal is not invincible. The proof: he will not be in the second week of Wimbledon. To reach this point, Lukas Rosol, number 100 in the world, pulled out the game of his life to knock out the Spaniard. May the...

No, Nadal is not invincible. The proof: he will not be in the second week of Wimbledon. To reach this point, Lukas Rosol, number 100 in the world, pulled out the game of his life to knock out the Spaniard. May the 2012 sensation enjoy the feeling, because he may not have it again…

The battle on grass was lost before it even started. So it appeared, anyway, between Rafael Nadal, tremendous at Roland Garros, and the 100th worldwide, the Czech Lukas Rosol. He had only won, since his arrival on the ATP tour five years ago, half of what the Spaniard ha won in 2012. Yet, five sets later, the Centre Court of Wimbledon witnessed something astonishing: Rafa's first defeat at this stage of the competition, in the second round of a Grand Slam, since 2005. Yes, seven years. That was also on the courts of the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, even though at the time, the Spaniard had no particular ambition on the English turf, then property of his rival Roger Federer. It was the time of learning for Nadal.   An era long-gone  now, especially since the legendary final against Roger, at the very end of a Sunday in July 2010. Except, except… Having grown into a man with a complete game, Rafael Nadal then stumbled in a surprising way. First, there was the decision of the tournament organizers to cover the Centre Court during the fourth set. An undertaking similar to closing the hood of an old coupé/convertible at the end of its life. Bizarre. "It's a new stadium, with a new roof, so I thought it would take 5-10 minutes" admitted the Iberian upon leaving the court, without hiding behind this event as an excuse. For, on the other side of the net, Rosol played the tennis of his life, right up until the end of the fifth set. Rafa also said: "He played incredibly well. If he keeps playing like he played in the fifth set, he can beat anyone. (...) I have not played well in the first three sets. My return didn't work. My serve was good, but I played with a little less energy than usual".   But is Rafa to be buried yet? Not really. The peak of his season had not been scheduled for Wimbledon 2012. The Spaniard had a date with history a month earlier, in Paris. To surpass an old record of sport, the number of men’s singles titles won at Roland Garros - previously held by Bjorn Borg - was the main goal, and one that Rafa attained with gusto. The nervous emotion unleashed on the Parisian courts had to have its impact in London. "Without inspiration" at Wimbledon, Nadal was then short of everything, and didn't match up to his usual standard: the multiplication of the runs and the normal power in his shots. More fragile physically, especially since his knee injury in Miami in April, Rafa has been at the mercy of his opponents this season. But the moments were rare. David Ferrer, much better than Rosol, took advantage of such an opportunity in January 2011, in the quarterfinals in Melbourne, to dump out Rafa and his failing thigh in three sets. Rosol needed five sets. "Physically, I need rest. I have played a lot in the last six months" said the Spaniard, who was not making of this surprise defeat "a tragedy", but just a tennis match. The bad news for everyone is that Nadal has never been the kind of man to lose twice in a row. So, should we worry about him? No. Worry about the fate of the others? Definitely.   Ronan Boscher