London: Rafael Nadal suffered his first opening round loss at a Grand Slam after going down to Steve Darcis of Belgium in straight sets at Wimbledon here Monday.
World No. 135 Darcis packed off Nadal 7-6 (4), 7-6 (8), 6-4 on Court 1 of the All England Club for the biggest win of his career.
Nadal, who was playing his match after winning a record eighth French Open title, did not look at his best and faced difficulty in moving around the court.
The World No. 5 from Spain had lost to Czech Republic’s Lukas Rosol in the Wimbledon second round in 2012.
The defeat for Nadal comes against the lower-ranked player in a Grand Slam.
The 12-time Grand Slam champion was in ominous form coming into the tournament, having entered nine finals after returning from a knee injury in February.
Darcis, on the other hand, has become an overnight star. It is the first time the former World No. 44 has beaten a top five player.
The Belgian served 13 aces in the match and converted three of his 11 break point opportunities.
Nadal, known for his fighting spirit, tried to hang in there during the two hours and 55 minutes contest but could not script a turnaround.
He was drawn to meet Swiss great and rival Roger Federer in the quarterfinals.
First Published: Monday, June 24, 2013, 23:00