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Nadal: 'Remember The Wins, Not Losses'

Wimbledon, England

Nadal© Getty ImagesRafael Nadal suffered his earliest Grand Slam defeat.

Rafael Nadal came into Wimbledon looking to erase the memories of his stunning second-round loss to Lukas Rosol a year ago at the All England Club. 

But instead, the 12-time major champion was once again upstaged by an unheralded player.

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Belgian Steve Darcis made headlines on Monday by knocking out Nadal in straight sets at The Championships. While the loss marked the Spaniard’s first opening-round defeat at a Grand Slam event, Nadal stated that his victories far outweigh his losses.

“It is tough losing in the first round. But the tour continues, life continues, and this is a sport of victories. It's not a sport of losses,” said Nadal. “Nobody remembers the losses. People remember the victories. And I don't want to remember that loss.”

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Nadal’s ousting will likely be embedded in people’s minds for some time, given the run the Mallorcan enjoyed after returning from a seven-month absence with a left knee injury in February. 

Entering Wimbledon, Nadal had advanced to the final at all nine events he contested this season, lifting seven trophies, and was riding a 22-match win streak. Nadal’s consistent excellence saw him earn more Emirates ATP Rankings points than any player the first half of the season, despite missing the Australian Open. Coming into Wimbledon he had won almost 2,000 more points that Novak Djokovic, with whom he is waging an intense battle for year-end No. 1 honours. 

“I tried to arrive as good as possible to this tournament, knowing that probably this year will be harder than ever, and it really was,” said Nadal. 

“My season has been fantastic, much better than what I have thought five months ago. So I am happy about everything. I know that a loss [like] today can happen, and it happened. That's all… If I don't have doubts, it’s because I really don't feel the passion for this game.”

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