Wimbledon 2013: Even the family of Steve Darcis, the man who stunned Rafael Nadal, are shocked by the result

Even his mother does not expect him to now go all the way in SW19

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The Independent Online

Rafael Nadal's first round defeat at Wimbledon will go down among one of the greatest shocks in tennis history.

The two-time former champion at the All England Club lost in straight sets to a player few had even heard of until the writing was on the wall on Court One.

And it would seem victory for Steve Darcis came as just a big surprise for his own family.

Darcis’s mother Marie-Agnes Thunus said she thought Nadal had been taken by surprise by how well her son - ranked 135 in the world - played when they clashed yesterday.

Darcis admitted his first reaction when seeing the draw was: "F**k,  it’s bad luck.”

He added: "nobody was expecting me to win”.

His 50-year-old mother refused to get carried away about her son’s potential, fully aware that he has spent part of this season competing in the minor leagues of professional tennis.

Mrs Thunus, a sports instructor, from Beaufays, near Liege, Belgium, said: “It is amazing. He played very well. I think Nadal was surprised by how well he played. As we all were!


“Can he now win Wimbledon? I wouldn’t know about that. It is one thing to beat one of the great players, but he would still have to beat the likes of Federer or Murray to win it. It’s a lot to ask. We are just enjoying his success against Nadal.

“His partner, Lauranne, is staying with me, along with their three-week-old daughter. We are so happy for him. I’ve not spoken to him yet because he has been busy speaking to the media.”

After a decade as a professional Darcis admitted beating the Spanish champion was one of his “greatest wins”. He won the match against Nadal, who was seeded five, 7-6, 7-6, 6-4.

After the win, the world number 135 said: “I knew that it would be very, very difficult. But it was a great match from the start to the end. [Nadal is] just the second guy in the Top 10 that I have beaten. It’s one of my greatest wins. So I’m really, really happy."

“I think today I served very well [and] I could use a lot of slice.”

Darcis added: “I really tried to fight. I knew I would have a chance if I played a good match. That’s what happened.”

The Belgian is the lowest ranked player to beat him in a Grand Slam tournament and yesterday was only Darcis’s fourth Wimbledon appearance.

British Number One Andy Murray was also surprised by the manner of the Spaniard’s exit from this year’s tournament.

He said: “The consistency that Rafa, Roger (Federer), Novak (Djokovic) have shown in the slams over the last five, six years, it’s going to be almost impossible to keep that up forever. I didn’t see any of the match, obviously, because I was playing. But, yeah, it’s a surprising loss.”

Meanwhile, Darcis’s fellow countryman and friend, David Goffin suffered defeat at the hands of sixth-seeded Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga. The 22-year-old Belgian, ranked 83, lost in three sets on Court Two yesterday.