Nadal suffers shock first round exit
Updated: Monday, 24 Jun 2013 22:10
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.
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.
Nadal, 27, looked unable to move off his left leg, with his knee taped up, and struggled to plant his weight down to hit his forehand.
Roger Federer opened up his Wimbledon defence with an emphatic win over Victor Hanescu on Centre Court.
The Swiss, who also suffered an Olympic gold-medal match defeat to his Wimbledon final victim Andy Murray at the All England Club last summer, never looked in danger against the world number 48 as he sprinted to a 6-3 6-2 6-0 success.
Andy Murray showed the class that carried him all the way to Olympic glory as he beat Germany's Benjamin Becker 6-4 6-3 6-2.
Murray, who followed his runner-up finish to Roger Federer at Wimbledon last year by winning gold at the London Games on the same hallowed turf weeks later, extended his winning streak on grass to 12 as he dispatched Becker with minimum fuss.
Serbia's 14th seed Janko Tipsarevic lost to a familiar face as he bowed out early, with Davis Cup team-mate Victor Troicki taking his scalp, earning a 6-3 6-4 7-6 (7/5) win.
Jurgen Melzer had provided the first minor shock of the day, beating 30th seed Fabio Fognini 6-7 (5/7) 7-5 6-3 6-2 on Court 12.
Giant Pole Jerzy Janowicz proved why he is being tipped to mount a semi-final challenge as he crushed British debutant Kyle Edmund 6-2 6-2 6-4 on Court Three.
Marin Cilic avoided a potential upset by beating Marcos Baghdatis 6-3 6-4 6-4 while Mikhail Youzhny overcame Robin Haase to seal his place in the second round.
Sergiy Stakhovsky beat Brazil's Rogerio Dutra Silva 6-4 6-0 6-4 to set up a second-round clash with Federer.
French duo Stephane Robert and Benoit Paire will meet in the last 64 after they beat Alejandro Falla and Adrian Ungur in their respective first-round matches.
Another Frenchman, Guillaume Rufin, will be in the second round after he beat Marinko Matosevic but compatriot Marc Giquel crashed out after losing to Vasek Pospisil.
American 18th seed John Isner overcame Russia's Evgeny Donskoy while Lukasz Kubot progressed after coasting past Igor Andreev, 6-1 7-5 6-2.