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Steve Darcis: Top 10 Facts You Need to Know

Steve Darcis, Rafa Nadal, Wimbledon 2013 Shock,

Steve Darcis, 29, the relatively unknown Belgian, has performed the first and likely to be the biggest upset at the 2013 Wimbledon Championship by defeating World No. 4, Rafael Nadal, in straight sets.

Darcis said:

Nobody was expecting my win today. OK, Rafa didn’t play his best tennis today, but I knew the first match on grass is always difficult…I tried to do what I like to do, come to the net as soon as I can, not play too far from the baseline…I think I did great today…I think I don’t know what to say right now I’m really happy.

Here’s what you need to know about this underdog…


1. Darcis is Ranked 135 in the World

The highest ranking he ever achieved was 44 back in 2008.


2. He Has Entered the History Books After Beating Nadal Today

Steve Darcis, Rafa Nadal, Wimbledon 2013 Shock,

He defeated Rafa Nadal today at Wimbledon, just weeks after Nadal won the French Open.


3. He Became a Top 100 Player Six Years Ago

Steve Darcis, Rafa Nadal, Wimbledon 2013 Shock,

He first joined the Top 100 in the world by winning the Dutch Open in 2007.


4. He Has Already Equaled His Best Ever Wimbledon Performance

Steve Darcis beats Rafael Nadal, Wimbledon 2013 shock

Steve Darcis of Belgium waves to the crowd as he celebrates match point during his Gentlemen’s Singles first round match against Rafael Nadal of Spain on day one of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on June 24, 2013 in London, England. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

He has only made the second round of Wimbledon once before, in 2009. Before today, he had won just a single Wimbledon match. Though during the 2012 Olympics, Darcis beat Thomas Berdych on the Wimbledon courts.


5. Darcis Earns a Small Fraction of What Nadal Makes in a Year

Steve Darcis, Rafa Nadal, Wimbledon 2013 Shock,

Steve Darcis of Belgium hits a forehand during his Gentlemen’s Singles first round match against Rafael Nadal of Spain on day one of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on June 24, 2013 in London, England. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

In 2012 Darcis made just over $300,000 in prize money, whereas Nadal made nearly $5 million, not to mention the extra $25 million Nadal picks up in endorsements.


6. His Next Opponent is Lukasz Kubot

Steve Darcis, Rafa Nadal, Wimbledon 2013 Shock,

Lukasz Kubot of Poland plays a backhand against Sam Querrey during their second round match at the Sony Open at Crandon Park Tennis Center on March 23, 2013 in Key Biscayne, Florida. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

He will go on to play Lukasz Kubot, a Polish player ranked 99 in the world, in the second round.


7. Darcis’ Best Ever Grand Slam Performance Was in 2011

Steve Darcis, Rafa Nadal, Wimbledon 2013 Shock,

Steve Darcis of Belgium hits a forehand during the men’s singles round three match between Steve Darcis of Belgium and Gael Monfils of France on day six of the French Open at Roland Garros on May 27, 2011 in Paris, France. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

Darcis’ best ever performance at any Grand Slam event was making the third round of the French Open in 2011.


8. He Spoiled Nadal’s Comeback Party

Steve Darcis, Rafa Nadal, Wimbledon 2013 Shock,

Rafael Nadal of Spain changes his shirt during a break inhis Gentlemen’s Singles first round match against Steve Darcis of Belgium on day one of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on June 24, 2013 in London, England. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

This was supposed to be Nadal’s glorious return to Wimbledon after injury ruined the tournament for him last year when he lost in the second round to Lukas Rosol, the Spanish star said yesterday:

I was not ready to play here [in 2012]. That’s the real thing. I play with an infiltration (painkilling injection) from the first day,” Nadal, seeded five this year, told reporters after practising on Saturday.

Last year I played here because it’s a tournament that I love. I tried my best. But after Roland Garros my knee was not there any more. After here I was not able to compete in one more tournament during the rest of the season.


The Independent reports
on today’s events:

There was a suspicion that Nadal’s knee injury contributed to the defeat, but tough he developed a limp late on for most of the match it was more a case of his not appearing to trust his knee’s fitness on a surface which it is hard for him to slide on.


9. Darcis is a Major Sports Fan

Darcis is a fan of Lebron. He also enjoys fishing in his spare time, and is a major soccer fan of Belgium’s biggest team, Anderlecht.

twitter-tweet”>

If anybody criticizes lebron as a player next season or questions his ability to be clutch, they are instantly void of any credibility

— andyroddick (@andyroddick) June 21, 2013


10. His Idol Growing Up Was Pete Sampras

Steve Darcis, Rafa Nadal, Wimbledon 2013 Shock, Pete Sampras

Pete Sampras celebrates a point against Michael Chang while playing an exhibition match during the Bank of the West Classic at Stanford University Taube Family Tennis Stadium on July 11, 2012 in Stanford, California. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

Though playing primarily on clay, Darcis says he regards himself as a better player on grass, though he won his first ATP title while playing on a clay surface. Darcis lists his other tennis heroes as fellow-Belgians, Olivier Rochus, Xavier Malisse and Kristof Vliegen.

His trainer is also Belgian, Reginald Willems, and his father, Alain, works as a tennis coach.

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