Nadal Defeated by 135th-Ranked Player in Round 1

By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jun 24, 2013 6:22 PM CDT
Nadal Defeated by 135th-Ranked Player in Round 1
Rafael Nadal of Spain reacts as he loses a point to Steve Darcis of Belgium during their Men's first round singles match at Wimbledon.   (Kirsty Wigglesworth)

Ouch. In a span of 15 days, Rafael Nadal went from French Open champion for a record eighth time to first-round Grand Slam loser for the only time in his career. Limping occasionally and slower than usual, but unwilling to blame an old left knee injury, the two-time Wimbledon winner exited 7-6 (4), 7-6 (8), 6-4 today against 135th-ranked Steve Darcis of Belgium—one of the most stunning results ever at the All England Club.

"Nobody remembers the losses. People remember the victories," Nadal said after the game. "And I don't want to remember that loss." Nadal deflected three questions in English about his left knee, saying it's "not the day to talk about these kind of things" and that it would sound like "an excuse." "Maybe he was not in the best shape ever. Maybe he didn't play his best match," Darcis said. "But I have to be proud." (Read more Wimbledon stories.)

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