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Nadal doubts future after Wimbledon thrashing

Spanish tennis ace Rafael Nadal has hinted at retirement after his shock second-round defeat by German 102 seed, Dustin Brown.

Nadal doubts future after Wimbledon thrashing
Rafael Nadal crashed out of Wimbledon in a shock second-round defeat. Photo: Patrick Novarik/AFP

Rafael Nadal was sent crashing out of Wimbledon by dread-locked German qualifier Dustin Brown on Thursday, his fourth successive humiliation at the All England Club.

It was the 29-year-old's first ever defeat to a qualifier at a Grand Slam and came in the aftermath of losing his French Open crown where he had been champion nine times. 

Nadal, the 2008 and 2010 Wimbledon champion, slumped to a 7-5, 3-6, 6-4, 6-4 second round defeat against the world number 102 who hit 13 aces and 58 winners

“I lost. Sad today for that, obviously,” said Nadal, who was also runner-up at Wimbledon in 2006, 2007 and 2011.

“But end of the day, that's sport. Good moments, bad moments. Obviously today is a bad moment for me. Just I need to accept these kind of things that can happen. I did all my career.”

The Mallorcan native cast doubt on his Wimbledon future during a post-match press conference:

“I don't know if I will be back to the level of 2008 or 2010,” said the two-time men's champion.

“My motivation is try to be back to that level. But I've got to keep working.

The loss followed his 2012 second round exit to world 100 Lukas Roso, a first round beating by the 135-ranked Steve Darcis in 2013 and last year's fourth round defeat to Nick Kyrgios, who was at 144.

Down at his lowest ranking for a decade – 10 in the world – Thursday's defeat was yet another symptom of the great Spaniard's game being in a terminal state of decline.

“I will keep going. It's not the end. Is a sad moment for me, as I said before. But life continues. My career, too. I have to keep going and working more than ever to try to change that dynamic.”

For Brown, who once drove to tournaments in a camper van to save money, it was his second win against Nadal having also won on grass in Halle in 2014.

It also gave him a third round clash against Serbia's Viktor Troicki. 

“I had actually never been on Centre Court before,” said Brown.

“They asked me before the match if I wanted to go on the court. I didn't know what was going to happen, so I just said I'll just go on when I play. 

“I thought I would freak out a little bit but I don't know if it was the match in Halle, it felt very familiar. It wasn't obviously that big of a court but being on grass, being with him on the court and having won the last match it made me feel more comfortable.”

He added: “It's easy for me to play my game against someone like him because I have nothing to lose.”

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TENNIS

IN PICS: Rafa Nadal weds childhood sweetheart in Mallorca

Rafael Nadal married his partner of 14 years, Xisca Perello, at a castle in Mallorca on Saturday.

IN PICS: Rafa Nadal weds childhood sweetheart in Mallorca
Photo: Fundacion Rafa Nadal

Nadal, the 19-time grand slam champion, tied the knot with 31-year-old Perello at La Fortaleza, with a reported 350 guests invited to a private ceremony.

Juan Carlos I, the king of Spain from 1975 to 2014, was believed to be among those in attendance while the Michelin-star chef, Quique Dacosta, was reportedly in charge of catering.

The newlyweds shared some official photos of the day through the Fundacion Rafa Nadal, the NGO the tennis player set up on Mallorca

Photo: Fundacion Rafa Nadal

 

Nadal, 33, met his wife through his younger sister Maribel, a childhood friend of Perello.

They started dating in 2005 when they were both teenagers after meeting several years before.


Photo: Fundacion Rafa Nadal

The couple announced their engagement in January and revealed that the tennis ace had proposed on a romantic trip to Rome last May but chose to  keep the news private.

 

Perello, has always shunned the media spotlight although she has been pictured courtside at some of Nadal’s biggest matches.


Nadal kisses Perello after winning against France's Gael Monfils in the final tennis match at the Monte-Carlo ATP Masters Series Tournament in Monaco on April 17, 2016. 

But she isn't always there. In a 2011 interview with The Daily Telegraph, Perello explained: “He needs his space when he is competing, and just the idea of me hanging around and waiting on his needs all day tires me out.

“It would asphyxiate me. And then he would have to be worrying about me… No. If I followed him everywhere, I think there's a risk we might stop getting along.”

She works in insurance and is a business graduate but also serves as project director for the Rafa Nadal Foundation, the charity which Nadal launched almost ten years ago.

In an interview with sports newspaper Marca last year, the world number 2 hinted that he wouldn't be ready to start a family until he had retired from tennis. 

'I keep my commitment with tennis and my happiness', Nadal told Marca. 'I enjoy both in tennis and outside it. I have a girlfriend too and I am not alone to take decisions.

“Having family? I don't know, things are not easy to be predict. At this age, I thought that I would have already been a former player and that I would have started a family.”

READ ALSO: Rafa Nadal donates €1million to help victims of Mallorca floods 

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