After winning the French Open just 15 days ago, Rafael Nadal was bounced from Wimbledon in the first round. It was the first time in his career that Nadal has lost in the opening round of a Grand Slam tournament.
Nadal was clearly hampered by an old left knee injury, but he refused to blame that in the post-match press conference. He fell to Belgium’s Steve Darcis 7-6 (4), 7-6 (8), 6-4 in what was an absolutely shocking result. Darcis entered Monday’s match as the 135th-ranked player in the world. The defeat certainly ranks among the biggest upsets in tennis history.
Last year at Wimbledon, Nadal fell in the second round to Lukas Rosol, who was ranked 100 in the world at the time. After that, the Spaniard missed seven months because of his bad left knee. Since returning to the court he had gone 43-2 and reached the finals of every tournament he entered, winning seven.
Nadal won his 12th Grand Slam trophy just over two weeks ago in Paris.
Nadal had the following to say about his loss:
“Nobody remembers the losses. people remember the victories. And I don’t want to remember that loss.”
“Two weeks ago, I was in a fantastic situation, winning a fantastic tournament. Two weeks later, I lost here in the first round. That’s the positive and the negative thing about this sport.”
Darcis entered Monday 7-18 in Grand Slam matches, and he had been defeated in the first round 12 times. After the draw was released everyone assumed he would be walking home with his 13th on Monday.
Nadal was 34-0 in the first round of his previous 34 major tournaments. Overall, he came in with a 164-22 record in majors, a .882 winning percentage.