By Chad Hoyle
The 2013 Wimbledon Championship is mere hours old, but has witnessed possibly the greatest upset of the modern Grand Slam era.
Rafael Nadal, hoping to continue his return to form after his recent French Open victory, was eliminated from the competition by the virtually unknown Belgian Steve Darcis in straight sets: 7-6 (4), 7-6 (8), 6-4.
This defeat marks the first time the Spaniard has been eliminated from the first round of a Grand Slam event, with his other earliest departure occurring in the second round at the same venue last year. His 2012 departure, at the time, was considered one of the tournament's greatest upsets, and preceded a 7 month layoff while Nadal rehabbed his injured left knee. Though he made no mention of it in his post match press conference, it's likely that Nadal's knee will be the focus of his ill performance, since he looked unstable throughout the match and lacked the power he exhibited as recently as the French Open.
In an apparent reversal of roles, Roger Federer, who struggled at Roland Garros a fortnight ago, continued to dominate on his favored court surface, besting Victor Hanescu of Belgium 6-3, 6-2, 6-0. Nadal's early departure eliminates the possibility of the two legends meeting in the Quarterfinals and gives Federer the clear advantage en route to a possible record breaking eighth victory at the All England Club.
More updates to come as the tournament progresses over the next two weeks.
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