Wimbledon 2013: Cruel blow for Rafael Nadal's conqueror - Steve Darcis forced to withdraw due to shoulder injury
Two-time former champion at the All England Club lost in straight sets to a player few had even heard of
Wednesday 26 June 2013
Giantkiller Steve Darcis' Wimbledon win over Rafael Nadal looked all the more remarkable today as he made the heart-breaking decision to pull out of the tournament.
Devastated Darcis had no option but to withdraw from his second-round match, citing a shoulder injury he sustained against the Spaniard.
The 29-year-old Belgian had been the talk of the All England Club following his stunning straight-sets win over 12-time grand slam winner Nadal, and was slated to be out on Court 17 against Lukasz Kubot today.
But whispers that he would not appear were quickly confirmed by tournament officials, with the world number 135 then fronting up to the media to pour out his frustrations.
Darcis recalled a diving shot in the seventh game of the opening set against Nadal, believing it was where his injury stemmed from.
He went on to play the rest of the match regardless, before being struck by a pain he could not shake off.
"It happened against Rafa but I had no pain. After a few games I was feeling great," he said.
"After the match, a few hours after, I started to feel so much pain. I couldn't sleep at night. I saw the physio and the doctor and they did a good job. It's a little better today but there is no chance I can play.
"I cannot serve, even on the forehand serve. I cannot hit a ball."
The irony of the situation is that as Nadal assessed his shock loss the talk surrounded his long-standing knee injuries, with those quizzing him unaware that his conquerer was struggling too.
Asked how he was able to carry on and produce what stands out as the performance of his life, Darcis added: "Maybe it was because of the adrenaline, I have no idea.
"During the match it was perfect and I had no pain at all. I don't know how it came after that."
Once the dust has settled on his disappointment, Darcis will be able to reflect on causing one of the greatest Wimbledon shocks of recent time.
He was not willing to console himself with that thought today, though, and headed back to Liege wondering what might have been.
"I think that when you beat a guy like Rafa in the first round, you want to show more and play more matches," he said.
"I was playing the best tennis of my life here and to not go on court today is maybe the most disappointing thing I have to do. Right now I'm not so happy and it is tough to withdraw like this.
"After a few days I will maybe say 'I beat Nadal, it's great', but the big thing is I cannot play and I have that in my mind. These are not happy memories."
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