Rafael Nadal knocked out in first round of Wimbledon

Nadal knocked out in first round of Wimbledon
© PA Photos
Rafael Nadal is eliminated in the first round of Wimbledon by Belgian Steve Darcis.

Rafael Nadal has been eliminated in the first round of Wimbledon by Belgian Steve Darcis, suffering a 7-6 7-6 6-4 defeat.

The Spaniard, who was eliminated in the second round of this competition last year, had previously never been knocked out in the first round of a Grand Slam event.

The opening set remained on serve until 5-5, when Darcis broke to set up the chance to serve for a one-set lead. Nadal broke straight back, but the Belgian moved ahead courtesy of a 7-4 score in the tie-break.

It was a similar story in the second with both exchanging breaks in the latter stages of the set, but once more Darcis came out on top in the tie-break, this time 10-8 to move into a two-set lead.

Nadal, who appeared to be struggling with a knee injury throughout the match, continued to stutter in the early stages of the third set as he lost his opening service game, before Darcis held to go 2-0 ahead.

The Spaniard's best chance of a break came at 4-3, but Darcis managed to hold before serving out the match in style after just under three hours of tennis.

Rafa Nadal stands during his defeat to Steve Darcis on June 24, 2013
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