Rafael Nadal went out of a grand slam in the opening round for the first time in his career today as his Wimbledon agony continued against Steve Darcis.
• Rafael Nadal loses in first round of Wimbledon to Steve Darcis
• Belgian defeated Spaniard 7-6 (7/4) 7-6 (10/8) 6-4
The 12-time major champion, fresh from winning a record eighth French Open just two weeks ago, returned to the All England Club hoping to make amends for last year’s second-round exit to Lukas Rosol, but was unable to make amends as he was beaten 7-6 (7/4) 7-6 (10/8) 6-4.
That shock loss to Rosol was validated by the seven months he subsequently missed through a recurrence of his long-standing knee injury.
And although Darcis - a Belgian ranked at 135th in the world - played the match of his life, Nadal did seem to be troubled again today.