Defeat not down to injury - Nadal

June 25, 2013
Tennis - Bet Now at Bet365

Rafael Nadal has refused to blame his shock first round Wimbledon lose to Steve Darcis on his long-standing knee injury, claiming he doesn't want to make excuses.

The two-time All England Club champion was the victim of arguable the biggest shock in recent Grand Slam history as he lost in straight sets to Darcis, who had only won once at SW19 going into the clash.

The 7-6 (7-4) 7-6 (10-8) 6-4 defeat made it back-to-back losses for Nadal at Wimbledon, the Spaniard having bowed out of last year's tournament in the second round to the unknown Lukas Rosol.

Nadal had taken seven months off after losing to Rosol due to his knee injury but had been in sparkling form since his return to action, winning seven of the nine tournaments he has played in.

The fifth seed came into Wimbledon off the back of his eighth French Open title two weeks ago and was expected to challenge for the slam, despite being in the same half of the draw as Roger Federer and Andy Murray.

Nadal's exertions in Paris meant he opted out of playing in any of the pre-Wimbledon tournaments and admitted after Monday's defeat that may have been a mistake.

However, he did insist Darcis' win had nothing to do with his knee injury and was keen to praise his opponent instead.

"All I want to do is congratulate Steve Darcis, he played a fantastic match. Talking about my knee is an excuse and I don't want to use excuses," said the 27-year-old.

"On grass it's difficult to adapt your game when you don't have the chance to play before and I didn't find my rhythm.

"A couple of weeks ago I was in a fantastic situation [Nadal won the French Open for an eighth time] and now I've lost in the first round.

"But I try my best in every tournament. People only remember victories and I don't want to remember the losses."

Nadal's defeat looks to have left Murray and Federer on course to meet in the semi-finals, both players having come through their respective first round matches in straight sets.

Murray will take on Yen-Hsun Lu next and is 1.012 to beat the Chinese Taipei star, who is 23.00 to cause an upset.

Federer will face Sergiy Stakhovsky in the next round and is 1.005 to go through, with his opponent 34.00.

Murray is 3.25 to win Wimbledon outright this year, with Federer 5.00 to claim an eighth grass court title.

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