Just weeks after taking the French Open title, Rafael Nadal is out of Wimbledon in the first round after a shocking defeat to Steve Darcis. The Belgian took advantage of a sub-par Nadal to win in straight sets 7-6 7-6 6-4. From the get-go Nadal was struggling, saving break points in the majority of his service games early in the first. However, he couldn’t do so at 5-5, hitting a forehand long to gift Darcis the break and the opportunity to serve for the set. Nadal would fight back and earn a tiebreak though, only to drop serve four times in a 7-4 defeat, with Darcis closing it out with a volley.
Nadal was less generous on serve in the second not facing one break point in the first five games before getting the opportunity to close the set out after an error-strewn game from Darcis gave the fifth seed a chance to serve for to tie it up. However, as with the first the server could not close it out and a second tie break ensued. The Belgian strangely has one of the best tiebreak records on tour and showed why as he recovered from a collapse from 6-3* up and keeping his nerve to save set point. A big serve gave Darcis his fifth set point and this time there was no recovery for Nadal whose forehand went long to fall two sets down.
Despite being two sets down, Nadal was still considered the favourite but that soon went away as an awful service game to start the third saw him go a break down. The Belgian held his nerve admirably, fighting off the Nadal charge and saving a break point to lead 5-3. After Nadal held, Darcis would fall 0-15 down but recovered with three cracking points and finished off with an ace down the T to pull off a major shock and shake up the tournament.
Lleyton Hewitt showed he is far from done with an excellent performance to defeat Stanislas Wawrinka 6-4 7-5 6-3. It looked like Wawrinka was still suffering a hangover from his final defeat in ‘S-hertogenbosch as he was blown off the court in the early stages, falling 4-0 down and faced break points for 5-0. He recovered slightly, breaking Hewitt to love as the Australian served for the set but was less successful next time round as Hewitt finally took it on his fourth set point.
Wawrinka struck first in the second, quickly rushing into a 3-0 lead but Hewitt refused to die down taking four of the next five games with a little help from the Swiss who hit 17 unforced errors in the set. The 2002 champion would get the break for a *6-5 lead and serve it out with ease.
Despite a third set that saw Wawrinka hit 19 winners, he found himself in a hole early on as he dropping serve to love to kick off the third. Six break points came and went as the Swiss struggled to make an impact on key points. Serving to stay in the match, Stan wobbled and would fall down 15-40. Both were saved in a marathon service game, alongside two more but Hewitt finally won after another forehand error from Wawrinka gave him the match at the fifth time of asking.
It was fairly easy for Jo-Wilfried Tsonga who won in straights against David Goffin 7-6 6-4 6-3. The Frenchman was dominant on serve, facing (and saving) just one break point. After shading a close tiebreak, the Frenchman was in control breaking once in the second set. After taking an early *2-1 lead in the third, that would be it for the Belgian. He dropped serve once more trying to stay in the match as Tsonga booked his place in the second round where he will take on Ernests Gulbis in what is sure to be an exciting affair.
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