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Who is Nadal's nemesis Steve Darcis?

Steve Darcis hits a backhand volley against Rafael Nadal in the First Round.
by Darren Saligari
Monday 24 June 2013

So apart from being the first player to defeat Rafael Nadal in the opening round of a Grand Slam tournament, just who is Steve Darcis?

Born in 1984 in Liege, Belgium, to Marie, a sports instructor, and father Alain, a tennis coach, Darcis first began to play tennis at the age of five. His idol growing up was Pete Sampras who no doubt would have approved of the 13 aces he hit on his way to today's 7-6(4) 7-6(8) 6-4 upset of fifth seed and 12-time Grand Slam champion Nadal.

Prior to today's match he had won just one match at Wimbledon in three attempts. His best result at a major? Third round at Roland Garros in 2011.

He counts his favourite moment in tennis as his win over Tomas Berdych at the London Olympics.

“I played Berdych in the Olympics first round on the Centre Court, the opening match. I think it was my best memories, I have to say. Like first top 10, you don't forget.”

But according to Darcis, today’s win tops his victory over Berdych. “It's one of the greatest win that I have,” said Darcis. “It was a great match from the start to the end.  So I'm really, really happy today.”

“You play tennis to play those matches on big courts, full stadium, against unbelievable players.  So I enjoy it from the first point to the end.”

Darcis has two ATP titles to his name - won in Memphis (2008) and Amersfoort (2007). Currently ranked No.113 in the world, Darcis had never beaten a player in the top 5, until today.

With the nickname "Shark", it probably shouldn't come as any surprise that Darcis enjoys fishing. The nickname stems from his zodiac sign, which is Pisces, and his love of sharks.

“I love sharks.  It's like an ‘S’, like Steve. So I did it like few years ago, and that's why.”

 You can follow Steve Darcis on Twitter @stevedarcishark.

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