(June 24, 2013) No. 5 seed Rafael Nadal suffered his first-ever first round match at a major when he fell to No. 135 Steve Darcis of Belgium 7-6(4), 7-6(8), 6-4 at Wimbledon on Monday.
Darcis is the lowest-ranked ever player to beat Nadal at a Grand Slam event. Brazil’s Gustavo Kuerten was the last reigning Roland Garros winner to lose in the first round of Wimbledon in 1997.
“Just the second guy in the top 10 that I beat, “said a happy Darcis. “So, of course, it’s one of the greatest win(s) that I have.”
“He didn’t play his best tennis,” Darcis continued. “But I knew it is the first match on grass for him. Me, I played already four.
“So I think it helped me today.”
So what went wrong for Nadal this day?
“Happen that is sport,” Nadal said in his opening answer in the news conference. “And sometimes you play well and you have the chance to win. Sometimes you play worst and the opponent play well and you lose.
“That’s the good thing about the sport. That’s all.”
During parts of the match Nadal appeared to be having trouble with his movement. When asked about if he hurt during his post-match news conference Nadal would not discuss it.
“Is not the right day,” Nadal said. “I tried my best out there in every moment. Was not possible for me this afternoon, and that’s all.
“The opponent played well. I had my chances. I didn’t make it. So in grass is difficult to adapt yourself, to adapt your game. When you don’t have the chance to play before, I didn’t have that chance this year, is tougher. I didn’t find my rhythm.”
Last year Nadal was upset in the second round by Lukas Rosol, who incidentally also lost his opening match on Monday. The Czech was bounced out in five sets by Germany’s Julian Reister.