Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Nadal suffers recurring Wimbledon nightmare

For the second straight year, Rafael Nadal is leaving Wimbledon early after a stunning loss to a little-known player ranked in the hundreds.

In one of the tournament's greatest upsets, an ailing Nadal was knocked out in straight sets on Monday by 135th-ranked Belgian Steve Darcis. This loss is the Spaniard’s first loss in the opening round of any Grand Slam event.

The free-swinging Darcis defeated the two-time Wimbledon champion 7-6 (4), 7-6 (8), 6-4 on Court 1, ending Nadal’s 22-match winning streak and eliminating one of the Big Four of men’s tennis on the very first day of the grass-court Grand Slam.

After serving an ace down the middle on match point, Darcis conceded he was as surprised as everyone.

"Nobody was expecting me to win," he said. "So I had to play a good match, relax, and enjoy the game. That’s what I did."

There were no surprises for the other big names: Defending champion Roger Federer, bidding for a record eighth Wimbledon title, and second-seeded Andy Murray both won in straight sets on Centre Court.

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