Wimbledon: There’s a first time for everything

AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth

Photo by AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth

Rafa started and ended his 2013 Wimbledon by playing #135 Steve Darcis of Belgium. From the start of the match, Rafa was clearly showing some grass court rust and Darcis, was not. Darcis took the first set in a tiebreaker while we all wondered which would last longer: his amazing or Rafa’s subpar form. Darcis broke Rafa in 11th game to go up 6-5. Rafa broke right back to force a tiebreak, but Darcis took that and the first set: 7-6(4).

Rafa broke in the 11th game of the 2nd, but much like Rafa did in the first set, Darcis broke right back to force a tiebreak. The tit-for-tat stopped there, however, as Darcis went on to take the set 7-6(8).

By now, there were as many comments on how Rafa could seem to push off with his backhand as there were about how smartly Darcis was playing. Which is a shame for Darcis because he was playing so well. He didn’t let what was going on on the other side of the net deter him. He defeats Rafa 7-6(4), 7-6(8), 6-4.

I’m not going to pretend this doesn’t suck. It does. It sucks massively. This is Rafa’s first round loss in a slam ever. I just hope there’s no further damage to Rafa’s knees, that he can take some time off in Mallorca and come back strong in the fall. I’ll just keep watching that Roland Garros semi and final over and over until then.

Nadal Darcis
Aces 6 13
Double Faults 3 2
1st Serve % 67% 60%
1st Serve Points Won 52/80 (65%) 53/72 (74%)
2nd Serve Points Won 21/39 (54%) 28/49 (57%)
Break Points Saved 8/11 (73%) 5/7 (71%)
Break Points Won 2/7 (29%) 3/11 (27%)
Statistics on Points
Total Service Points Won 73/116 (63%) 81/121 (67%)
Total Return Points Won 40/121 (33%) 46/119 (39%)
Total Points Won 113/237 (48%) 127/237 (54%)
Other Stats
Winners 32 53
Unforced errors 24 24
Net Approaches 28/36 (78%) 32/46 (70%)

86 Responses

  1. wenche says:

    I am so sorry for him. Sorry for his loss and sorry for everything. I felt so bad yesterday that I had to do something, and I went out cleaning all the windows of my house. Felt a little bit better afterwards, but steel I feel pain inside of me. It is the same feeling I had when he lost to Søderling in RG.
    I hope he will be in god shape for the rest of the season, and that he will take care of his body and rest as much as he can.
    This summer me and my family has rented a big house in Mallorca not far from Manacor. I hope to see him at the practice court there
    Good luck to Rafa and good luck to all his fans. What he has done so fare this year is amazing.

  2. RAFAFAN says:

    Did anyone saw Azarenka’s fall on the same court yesterday?? That was so awful and her yells of pain afterwards! Not nice to watch at all. Her opponent slipped and fell also on the same side of the court twice. This was when I was thinking that Rafa had to play on the same court shortly. Not a good feeling because I was so scared for him and his not-so-well knee. I think he was scared as well and my husband told me (I did not watched the match)that Rafa looked injured and not well at all. He said he was struggling to change direction and moving forward – actually in all departments (and he is not a Rafa fan – die hard Roger fan :))
    I don’t like Rafa to loose, but I think this one was for the better – for his health – to rest mind and body – not a lot of points involved and he already achieved massively this year. The RG Hi8tory was so great and I still feed on that, so I’m happy and so should our dear Rafa.

    Thanks Miri for your great site. Most appreciated.

  3. Ruthie says:

    I feel badly for Rafa but if he is struggling then I am glad that he went out now rather than do more damage – his path at Wimby was never going to be easy.

    It looks like Steve Darcis played a good match so I congratulate him for the win. It would seem that Rafa always brings out the best in other players.

    Rafa’s health is the most important thing and I hope he recovers and gets fit enough to come back for the US Open.

    Vamos our Rafa & God bless.

  4. Ch F says:

    I came back from my internet access free trip today to find out the terrible news!!! I was so shocked! What the hell happened? Certainly not the end of the world but I did not expect this at all. And i had thought that it was looking good with murray and federer on his side of the draw.

    I watched part of the match today on replay and didn’t think Darcis played very well nor that Rafa looked hampered by anything. Apparently Rafa tries not to put a lot of pressure on the knee and take it easy, but this is grass and he hasn’t played on it for a long time. Was it the knee, the fact that he was out of form on grass, a combination of both?

  5. wenche says:

    Read that Rafa is in Barcelona to day visiting dr Angel Ruiz Cotorro. Nobody wanted to make a statement about it, but it could be an aggravation of his injury that occurred during the third set of the match yesterday.

  6. Rose says:

    Whole day yesterday after learning of the loss, I stayed away from all media, it was so hard to absorb, not as much of a shock as last year, but just so sad. And then I thought, if it is this hard for me,a mere fan, then just imagine how hard it must be for Rafa himself and his near-and-dear ones to handle this, the press conference, the huge headlines on front pages ( even Wall Strret journal had his picture on front page!). To be on top of the world two weeks ago and then out of his favorite tournament on the first day! He really seems to suffer from extremes, doesn’t he?
    All we can do is support him thru his bad patches and rejoice with him when he comes out shining bright again.

  7. kaushik says:

    well,this was urely a very pzinful loss to accept .darcis was playing match of his life ,rafa was struggling to adapt on grass and the final blow he was not 100 % physically.he let go many shots he would have chased down,running around backhand all the time.anyway ,what has happend has happend .simply have to pick up the pieces and move on .gets a nice 6 week break before hard court season.iam sure he will bounce back vamos