Rafael Nadal Gets Bounced In First Round At Wimbledon

Almost as shocking as learning that Wimbledon starts on Monday is the news that Rafael Nadal has been knocked out of the tournament in the first round! No strawberries and cream for him this year.

Nadal was defeated, not by one of the 5 tennis players you’ve heard of, but by 135th-ranked Belgian Steve Darcis. This wasn’t an epic Rocky type underdog win either, Stevie D took him out in straight sets (that’s his nickname now since nobody has heard of him before).


ESPN is very confused by this turn of events:

But how to explain this? How to make sense of what happened on Court No. 1 on Monday when Darcis beat the eight-time French Open champion?The score was 7-6 (4), 7-6 (8), 6-4 and it was punctuated by a terrific ace down the middle (his 13th of the match).

What on earth happened?

“Sometimes you play well and have the chance to win,” Nadal said later, “and sometimes you play worse and lose. That’s all. At the end, it’s not a tragedy, it’s the sport.”

Nadal declined to actually say he was injured, but essentially admitted as much: “Is not the right day. I tried my best out there in every moment. It was not possible for me this afternoon.”

Later, he added, “I don’t want to talk about my knee this afternoon. All I want to say is congratulations to Steve Darcis. Anything I say about my knee is an excuse.”

Maybe the ATP Rankers were on to something when they dropped Nadal in the rankings despite him winning his record 8th French Open.

Either way, enjoy this gratuitous picture of Nadal without a shirt:

shirtless nadal

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