It was the first time in his career that Nadal had ever been defeated in the first round of a grand slam. Before Monday, he was the only player to have held a No1 ranking who could claim such a record. Nadal refused to be drawn on whether he was affected by injury, but appeared unwilling to slide on his knee and during the final set gingerly tested it several times and appeared to be limping.
"It is not the right day. I tried my best out there in every moment. The opponent played well, I had my chances. I didn't make it," he said. "The only thing that I can say today is to congratulate Steve Darcis. He played a fantastic match. Everything that I will say today about my knee is an excuse, and I don't like to put (forward) any excuse when I'm losing a match like I lost today. He deserves not one excuse.
"Darcis, 29, and nicknamed 'Shark', had come into Wimbledon with just two wins under his belt on the tour all year.
"Nobody was expecting my win. I don't know what to say. I'm really happy," said Darcis, who has now matched his best performance at the All England Club having reached the second round in 2009.
Day 1 Singles Results
Steve Darcis defeats Rafael Nadal (5) 7-6, 7-6, 6-4
Roger Federer (3) defeats Victor Hanescu 6-3, 6-2, 6-0
Murray defeats Becker 6-4 6-3 6-2
Maria Sharapova (3) defeats Kristina Mladenovic 7-6, 6-3
Victoria Azarenka (2) defeats Maria Joao Koehler 6-1, 6-2
Steve Darcis of Belgium
Steve Darcis of Belgium plays a return to Rafael Nadal of Spain during their Men's first round singles match at the All England Lawn Tennis Championships in Wimbledon.
Roger Federer of Switzerland
Roger Federer of Switzerland reacts after beating Victor Hanescu of Romania in their Men's first round singles match at the All England Lawn Tennis Championships in Wimbledon.
Lleyton Hewitt of Australia
Lleyton Hewitt of Australia volleys to Stanislas Wawrinka of Switzerland during their Men's first round singles match at the All England Lawn Tennis Championships in Wimbledon.
Maria Sharapova of Russia
Maria Sharapova of Russia reacts after winning the first set against Kristina Mladenovic of France during their Women's first round singles match at the All England Lawn Tennis Championships in Wimbledon.
(with agency inputs)