SPAIN's Rafael Nadal crashed out of Wimbledon in sensational fashion last night, losing 6-7(9) 6-4 6-4 2-6 6-4 to Lukas Rosol of the Czech Republic.
The world No 2 and champion in 2008 and 2010, looked on course to reach the third round in routine fashion when he came through a marathon first-set tiebreak 11-9.
But Rosol, who has never gone beyond the third round of a grand slam, broke serve in the opening game of the second set and stunned Nadal with a succession of inspired winners from all over the court.
Nadal was powerless to stem the tide and was clearly upset by the 26-year-old Czech's aggressive style but he dug in to break serve at the start of the fourth set and repeated the feat to level at two sets all.
Officials decided to close the Centre Court roof to enable the match to be finished. After a half-hour delay the players returned and Rosol immediately broke Nadal's serve.
He continued to subject the world No2 to a barrage of aces and outrageous winners to set up a third-round match against German Philipp Kohlschreiber.
It was the first time Nadal had lost before the third round of a grand slam since he was beaten by Gilles Mueller in the second round at Wimbledon in 2005.
Earlier, Britain's Andy Murray faced an all-out assault from big-serving Croat Ivo Karlovic, before booking his place in the third round with a 7-6 6-7 6-2 7-6 win.
The No4 seed struggled to get a handle on the Karlovic serve with 17 aces flying past him and the towering Croat also volleyed well to frustrate Murray.
Karlovic was called for 11 foot faults, prompting him to accuse All England Club line judges of deliberately trying to ease the British player's path through the tournament.
"I feel cheated. On a Grand Slam, Centre Court," said Karlovic.
Maria Sharapova survived a scare to reach the third round where she was joined by her biggest rival for the women's title, Serena Williams.
World No1 Sharapova, who came off court in the Wednesday night gloom when leading by a set and 3-1 against dangerous grasscourter Tsvetana Pironkova, went into meltdown on the resumption in sticky lunchtime heat on Court One before prevailing 7-6 6-7 6-0.
Williams was far more ruthless in a 6-1 6-4 defeat of Hungarian qualifier Melinda Czink.
Kei Nishikori, the 19th seed, beat France's Florent Serra 6-3 7-5 6-2 to become the first Japanese male player to reach the third round of the men's singles since Shuzo Matsuoka 17 years ago.
Belgian David Goffin, who gave Roger Federer a big scare at the French Open this month, backed up his first-round win over 20th seed Bernard Tomic with a four-set victory over American Jesse Levine.
The women's seeds flourished in the sunshine with former French Open winners Ana Ivanovic and Francesca Schiavone reaching the third round but former Wimbledon finalist Marion Bartoli fell at the second hurdle to Mirjana Lucic.