- Rafael Nadal - Roger Federer - tennis - Wimbledon
Nadal suffers shock Wimbledon defeat
Spain’s 12-time Grand Slam champion Rafael Nadal suffered a shock exit from Wimbledon’s first round after a 7-6(4), 7-6(8), 6-4 defeat against Belgian world No. 135 Steve Darcis on Monday while Roger Federer cruised through his first match.
Lightning struck twice for Rafael Nadal at Wimbledon as the Spanish 12-time Grand Slam champion suffered a shock first-round defeat by Belgian outsider Steve Darcis on Monday.
A year after losing to Czech Lukas Rosol in the second round, Nadal was outplayed by 135th-ranked Darcis on Court One, losing 7-6(4), 7-6(8), 6-4 in front of a disbelieving crowd.
Fifth-seed Nadal, who had never lost in the first round of a Grand Slam tournament before, served for the second set but Darcis hit back to move two sets in front.
With Nadal, bidding for a third Wimbledon title, struggling to find his form and appearing to be struggling physically, Darcis then broke early in the third set and held his nerve to record the biggest win of his career.
The 29-year-old secured victory with a booming ace.
"Rafael did not play his best match here, it is hard when it is your first match on grass," Darcis said after stepping off court. "I just wanted to play my own game, coming to the net and not playing far from the baseline."
He continued: "I have always played well on grass, perhaps not here where I have had some tough draws, but I am really happy. I do not know what to say."
Darcis was the lowest-ranked player to beat Nadal in seven years, making the Spaniard the first reigning French Open champion to lose in the first round of Wimbledon since Gustavo Kuerten suffered a first-round exit in 1997.
On another court, Roger Federer cruised through his opening match with all the regal splendour of a seven-time champion. With almost casual brutality, he swatted aside Romania's Victor Hanescu in straight sets.
Fulfilling the ceremonial role of striding out to open the action on Centre Court, the 17-time Grand Slam champion was in no mood for hanging around as he began his bid for a record eighth Wimbledon title with a 6-3, 6-2, 6-0 romp.
It took 68 minutes for the Swiss to book his place in the second round, but only a handful of points had passed before the result looked a foregone conclusion.
France’s Jo-Wilfried Tsonga also passed the first round, defeating Belgium’s 84th-ranked David Goffin in three sets 7-6(7/4), 6-4, 6-3.
Earlier, Wimbledon produced an upset in the women’s draw with fifth-seeded Sara Errani eliminated by Puerto Rican teenager Monica Puig 6-3, 6-2.
Second-seeded Victoria Azarenka overcame a right knee injury from a scary fall beating Maria Joao Koehler of Portugal 6-1, 6-2.
(FRANCE 24 with wires)