Millions of women left devastated as Spanish hunk Rafa Nadal crashes out of Wimbledon (who will we lust after now)
12:10 GMT, 29 June 2012
Wimbledon witnessed one of the greatest upsets in its 126-year history as two-time champion Rafael Nadal was dumped out by little-known Czech Lukas Rosol.
But while Nadal licked his wounds in the changing rooms after the game, scenes of devastation were playing out across the globe as legions of female Nadal fans mourned the loss of their favourite tennis heartthrob.
The shock experienced by the seemingly unbreakable Nadal at crashing out so early on in the tournament will be mirrored, magnified, even, by his ardent supporters.
Another shirt change Don't mind if you do! Rafa's impressive physique earned him legions of female fans
With his swarthy good looks, Latin passion and, of course, the carefully honed physique he gave us tantalising glimpses of during his towel-downs, the 26-year-old was the deserving focus of much female attention – and his winning streak only added to his appeal.
Yes, we admired his power, his 135 mile-an-hour serve and his endless stamina.
But it was far more than that. In a game where our homegrown talent is sadly lacking in the looks department (sweet, pale Tim Henman, with his pointy teeth and half-hearted celebratory air-punch; or lanky overgrown teenager Andy Murray, who is only now, after years of devoted bulking-up and the acquisition of a gentle tan showing a glimmer of magnetism), Nadal offered us a much-needed rugged hero.
Say sayonara to steamy scenes such as this: Rafael Nadal's tantalising towel-downs are over for another year
There is the undeniably handsome six times champion Roger Federer, indisputably a first-class player, of course.
But being a typical Swiss man, he fails to ignite the fires of female fans. He's too sensible, too controlled.
His unwavering devotion to his wife MIrka and their twins makes us melt, but in an 'aaah, isn't he lovely'; way, not in an 'I want to tear off those sweatbands with my teeth' kind of way.
Which brings us neatly back to Nadal.
Honed to perfection: He may not have been bulky, but his strength and stamina proved irresistible for female fans
But how will this defeat, by an unknown, unseeded player 98 places beneath the number two seeded Nadal, affect his trademark arrogance, which is surely part of his grand appeal
And can his dented ego recover sufficiently to allow him to fight back from this defeat to claim another Grand Slam (of which he has won 11)
Indeed, Nadal was so unsettled by the prospect of being defeated by the 2500-1 Czech-bot outsider that he shoulder-barged him at the change of ends with the score 2-3 in the third set.
Raw emotion: Fed up with our wishy-washy homegrown talent, we were drawn to Rafa's passion
Arrogance: The infamous Nadal sneer only added to his animal appeal… and there was no denying his enthusiasm for celebration
Fiery: Rafa is called to heel by an umpire during last night's match, during which he shoulder-barged his opponent
It was a low move meant to put the Czech off his game. 'He was trying to affect my concentration,' Rosol said afterwards. 'I’m surprised he did it on the Centre Court, but he apologised three times.'
Rosol may have forgiven him, but for Nadal, the loss of control marked the beginning of the end in the game – and, perhaps, marked the end of his reign as our number one tennis hunk.
Failing to ignite our passion: British talent Andy Murray, left, and Tim Henman, right, lack the magnetism of their Latin peer
For while we are still in mourning at the loss of our very own Zorro, the moment Nadal behaved with such a lack of sportsmanship towards the young pretender was a moment that tarnished his sheen forever.
Perhaps it's a natural time for us to find ourselves some new Wimbledon eye candy. In fact, this Lukas Rosol is showing promise. Six foot five, golden tan, toned midriff, cool leg tattoo.
Now if he could just grow his hair and get a bandana….
New man in town Tanned, tall (6ft 5in) and with a tasty leg tattoo, Lukas Rosol is showing early promise as a replacement for female Wimbledon fans devastated by the loss of Nadal