London: In what could be the biggest upset of Wimbledon 2013, Spain's Rafael Nadal was stunned in the first round by 135th-ranked Steve Darcis of Belgium here on Monday. Darcis managed to outplay Nadal 7-6 (7/4), 7-6 (10/8), 6-4.
Nadal, who had claimed his French Open title for the eighth time a few weeks ago, was outdone by Darcis, who has never gone beyond the third round of Grand Slam.
Darcis managed took control of match by winning the first set in a tie breaker. However, knowing Nadal's capabilities and his recent track record of coming back strong after losing the first set, it was expected from him to make a comeback. He did manage to break the lead 6-5 in the second set but Darcis came back from behind in the 12th game before holding his nerve for a two sets lead on his fifth set point in the tiebreak.
Darcis broke again for 2-0 in the third set and then he went ahead 5-3 in the decider and claimed his famous win after 2hr 55min with his 13th ace of the match.
After the match Dracis said, “Nobody was expecting my win today. I don't know what to say. I'm really happy," said Darcis. OK, Nadal didn't play his best tennis, but I knew the first match on grass is always difficult. For me it is a big win. I tried to come into the net, it worked pretty good.”
It was for the first time since Gustavo Kuerten in 1997 that a French Open champion had lost in the opening round at Wimbledon.
Meanwhile defending Champion Roger Federer dominated the opening match of his Wimbledon campaign as he beat Romanian Victor Hanscu 6-3, 6-2, 6-0 in just 69 minutes.
Federer will now go head to head against the Ukrainian, Sergiy Stakhovsky for a place in the last 32.
Federer is looking forward to a record eighth Wimbledon title and is elated to be back on the Centre Court to celebrate the 10th anniversary of his first triumph at the All England Club.