The Czech player is hardly known outside his country, yet in five tightly-contested sets he managed to get the better of the two-time champion who was on a high after winning a record 7th French Open title just weeks ago.
Only once Nadal has crashed out from Wimbledon at this early stage. In 2005, Giles Muller of Luxembourg sent him packing in the second round but the Spaniard was not quite a top contender then.
This time Nadal was counted among the favourites to win the tournament. On Thursday, he started well and won the first set 7-6 after a long tie-break. However, Rosol hit big shots repeatedly to bag the next two sets by the same 6-4 margin.
Nadal came back strongly in the fourth and restored parity by winning it 6-2. There was a 45 minute delay before the deciding set could begin as the Centre Court roof had to be closed.
Rosol took the initiative by breaking Nadal's service in the first game of the fifth set and thereafter did not allow the latter to recover. In the end, Nadal could only watch as Rosol sent down two consecutive aces to complete one of the most stunning upsets in tennis history.