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Rafael Nadal Loses In The First Round At Wimbledon

The best pre-Wimbledon storyline not involving the Serena-Sharapova "black heart" spat was the totally tantalizing quarterfinal: Federer vs. Rafa. They've met only twice in a Grand Slam in the last four years, and they haven't played each other at Wimbledon since the '08 classic. Finally, the thinking went, we'd get to see them—maybe for the last time at a Grand Slam?—in the middle of the week.


And, of course, it won't happen. Rafa Nadal just lost in straight sets to something called Steve Darcis, a Belgian. It's the first time he's ever lost in the first round at a Grand Slam. Last year, we called Nadal's second-round loss the biggest upset in Grand Slam history. This year? I guess it's harder to act surprised. Nadal blew through the French Open, so we'd assumed the old Rafa was back. He's not.

Nadal looked really flat in the third set, and he appeared to have trouble putting weight on his left leg. His left knee kept him sidelined for seven months (reminder: this is what Nadal does to his left knee every time he plays). There's also this: Since losing at Wimbledon last year, Nadal has played exactly one non-clay tournament. (It was at Indian Wells, and he won.) And now we've got to worry that he'll be back and ready for the U.S. Open, which he skipped last year. Good news? At least Federer will have an easier time getting to the semis.

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