Rafael Nadal had come to Wimbledon unprepared and it showed. This year’s French Open Champion hadn’t played on grass for the past two weeks.
Steve Darcis played the match of his life. His service was excellent as was his ball control and his forced breakpoint after breakpoint.
Darics went through on Nadal’s serve. The Spaniard answered with a left-hander and managed to force the first set to a tiebreak. Darcis sought and got the points he needed to take the first set 7-6 (7/4).
Nadal's first ever first round defeat
The second set too was decided by a tiebreak. Darcis let four set balls slip by. Nadal showed fighting spirit, but was unable to cut the mustard. Darcis took the second set 7-6 (10/8).
In the third set Darcis was able to pull ahead. The Liège player finished the job with an ace. The set ended 4-6 in Darcis’ flavour. This was Rafael Nadal’s first ever first round defeat in a Grand Slam tournament.