Nadal loses to 135th-ranked player at Wimbledon - 13 WTHR Indianapolis

Nadal loses to 135th-ranked player at Wimbledon

Updated:
LONDON -

In one of Wimbledon's greatest upsets, an ailing Rafael Nadal was knocked out in straight sets Monday by a player ranked 135th - the Spaniard's first loss in the opening round of a Grand Slam event.

Steve Darcis of Belgium stunned the two-time champion 7-6 (4), 7-6 (8), 6-4. He ended Nadal's 22-match winning streak and eliminated one of the Big Four of men's tennis on the very first day of the grass-court Grand Slam.

Nadal was sidelined for seven months with a left knee injury after losing in the second round of Wimbledon last year. He seemed to be struggling physically. He was unable to turn on the speed or use his legs to spring into his groundstrokes, limping and failing to run for some shots.

Wimbledon.com reported that before today, Darcis had won just one top-level match this season. Darcis is the lowest-ranked player Nadal has lost to since being beaten by Joachim Johansson in Stockholm seven years ago. He is also the first reigning French Open champ to lose in the first round at Wimbledon since Gustavo Kuerten in 1997.

It's Nadal's first ever first-round loss at a Grand Slam.

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