Rafael Nadal Eliminated From Wimbledon In First Round By Steve Darcis
Tennis star Rafael Nadal was eliminated from Wimbledon in his very first match, against Steve Darcis. Darcis, a little known Belgian player, beat the recent French Open champion, winning three sets 7-6, 7-6, 6-4.
Nadal, ranked number five in the world, had never experienced a first-round loss in a tournament, though he has a history of bad luck at Wimbledon – he was eliminated in the second round last year. After his early defeat last year, Nadal reportedly took the rest of the year off due to a knee injury, and many speculate that it was this same injury that prevented him from performing today. Nadal, however, did not choose to talk about his knee in the press conference following the match.
“I don’t want to talk about my knee this afternoon. All I can say today is I want to congratulate Steve Darcis. He played a fantastic match, and everything I say about my knee today is an excuse and I don’t like to put any excuses when I am losing a match like I lost today,” Nadal explained.
Adding to his knee injury, Nadal may have suffered from the switch to grass courts.
“In grass it’s difficult to adapt yourself, to adapt your game when you don’t have a chance to play before…It’s tougher and I didn’t find my rhythm,” Nadal told reporters.
Darcis, who was shocked by the win himself, echoed Nadal’s statements. “Rafa Nadal didn’t play his best tennis today. The first match on grass is always difficult,” Darcis said.
Darcis, who is ranked 135 in men’s singles, is the lowest-ranked player to have beat Nadal since 2006, when Nadal lost to Joachim Johansson (who was ranked 690 at the time).