Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 25 November 2014

Rafael Nadal a class act in Wimbledon defeat

Telegraph Sport: where the debate starts

LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 24:  Rafael Nadal of Spain reacts as he speaks to members of the media during a press conference following his defeat to Steve Darcis of Belgium in their Gentlemen's Singles first round match 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 Thomas Lovelock/AELTC - Pool/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 24: Rafael Nadal of Spain reacts as he speaks to members of the media during a press conference following his defeat to Steve Darcis of Belgium in their Gentlemen's Singles first round match 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 Thomas Lovelock/AELTC - Pool/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 26: Roger Federer of Switzerland speaks to members of the media during a press conference on day three of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on June 26, 2013 in London, England. (Photo by Thomas Lovelock/AELTC - Pool/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 23: Heather Watson of Great Britain smiles before a practice session during previews for Wimbledon Championships at Wimbledon on June 23, 2013 in London, England. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 26: Sir Bruce Forsyth and his wife Wilnelia attend the Ladies' Singles second round match between Eugenie Bouchard of Canada and Ana Ivanovic of Serbia on day three of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on June 26, 2013 in London, England. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
File photo dated 24/6/2013 of Belarus' Victoria Azarenka receives treatment. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Wednesday June 26, 2013. Women's second seed Victoria Azarenka has withdrawn from Wimbledon, tournament officials said today. See PA story WIMBLEDON Azarenka. Photo credit should read: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire
File photo dated 24/6/2013 of Belarus' Victoria Azarenka. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Wednesday June 26, 2013. Women's second seed Victoria Azarenka has withdrawn from Wimbledon, tournament officials said today. See PA story WIMBLEDON Azarenka. Photo credit should read: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire
LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 25: Maria Sharapova of Russia serves during a practice session on day two of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on June 25, 2013 in London, England. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 24: A spectator with the Australian national flag painted on her face watches the action during 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 Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)
Tennis fans Jade Ferguson (left) and Joanne Jeffrey from Belfast wait in their tent near The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, Wimbledon. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday June 23, 2013. See PA story TENNIS Wimbledon. Photo credit should read: Adam Davy/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only. No commercial use. No video emulation. No use with any unofficial third party logos.
LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 24: Rafael Nadal of Spain reacts as he speaks to members of the media during a press conference following his defeat to Steve Darcis of Belgium in their Gentlemen's Singles first round match 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 Thomas Lovelock/AELTC - Pool/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 24: 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)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 24: Andy Murray of Great Britain's girlfriend Kim Sears watches his Gentlemen's Singles first round match against Benjamin Becker of Germany 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 Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 24: Pippa Middleton watches the Gentlemen's Singles first round match between Andy Murray of Great Britain and Benjamin Becker of Germany 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 Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 24: (L-R) Mariann Byerwalter, Pippa Middleton and James Middleton watch the Gentlemen's Singles first round match between Andy Murray of Great Britain and Benjamin Becker of Germany 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 Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 24: Camila Giorgi of Italy plays a backhand during her Ladies' Singles first round match against Samantha Murray of Great Britain 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 Julian Finney/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 24: Eugenie Bouchard of Canada celebrates match point during her Ladies' Singles first round match against Galina Voskoboeva of Kazakhstan 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 Julian Finney/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 24: Stefan 'Redfoo' Gordy watches the Ladies' Singles first round match between Victoria Azarenka of Belarus and Maria Joao Koehler of Portugal 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)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 24: Ana Ivanovic of Serbia plays a forehand during her Women's Singles match against Virginie Razzano of France 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 Julian Finney/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 24: Fans queue for entry into the grounds 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 Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 23: Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland takes a break in a practice session during previews for Wimbledon Championships at Wimbledon on June 23, 2013 in London, England. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 23: Annika Beck of Germany in a practice session during previews for Wimbledon Championships at Wimbledon on June 23, 2013 in London, England. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
Tennis fans Jonathan Haynes and Louise Fairni queue in their tent near The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, Wimbledon. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday June 23, 2013. See PA story TENNIS Wimbledon. Photo credit should read: Adam Davy/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only. No commercial use. No video emulation. No use with any unofficial third party logos.
File photo dated 03/07/2012 of Russia's Maria Kirilenko. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Friday June 21, 2013. A quarter-finalist a year ago, a run to the last eight of the French suggests she may now be finding the form to turn a promising reputation into real results. She is 26 now and is in need of a deep run into a tournament to back that up. See PA story TENNIS Wimbledon 10 Women. Photo credit should read: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire
Serbia's Ana Ivanovic after being defeated by Canada's Eugenie Bouchard during day Three of the Wimbledon Championships at The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, Wimbledon. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday June 26, 2013. See PA story TENNIS Wimbledon. Photo credit should read: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only. No commercial use. No video emulation. No use with any unofficial third party logos.
Canada's Eugenie Bouchard celebrates defeating Serbia's Ana Ivanovic during day Three of the Wimbledon Championships at The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, Wimbledon. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday June 26, 2013. See PA story TENNIS Wimbledon. Photo credit should read: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only. No commercial use. No video emulation. No use with any unofficial third party logos.
Serbia's Ana Ivanovic reacts in her match against Canada's Eugenie Bouchard during day Three of the Wimbledon Championships at The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, Wimbledon. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday June 26, 2013. See PA story TENNIS Wimbledon. Photo credit should read: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only. No commercial use. No video emulation. No use with any unofficial third party logos.
Great Britain's Heather Watson applies sun cream to her face ahead of her double's match during day Three of the Wimbledon Championships at The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, Wimbledon. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday June 26, 2013. See PA story TENNIS Wimbledon. Photo credit should read: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only. No commercial use. No video emulation. No use with any unofficial third party logos.
Sir Bruce Forsyth (left) meets Stephen Fry in the Royal Box on Centre Court during day Three of the Wimbledon Championships at The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, Wimbledon. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday June 26, 2013. See PA story TENNIS Wimbledon. Photo credit should read: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only. No commercial use. No video emulation. No use with any unofficial third party logos.
Serbia's Novak Djokovic stretches during a practice session during day Three of the Wimbledon Championships at The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, Wimbledon. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday June 26, 2013. See PA story TENNIS Wimbledon. Photo credit should read: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only. No commercial use. No video emulation. No use with any unofficial third party logos.
Russia's Maria Sharapova during a practice session during day Three of the Wimbledon Championships at The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, Wimbledon. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday June 26, 2013. See PA story TENNIS Wimbledon. Photo credit should read: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only. No commercial use. No video emulation. No use with any unofficial third party logos.
Russia's Maria Sharapova during a practice session during day Three of the Wimbledon Championships at The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, Wimbledon. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday June 26, 2013. See PA story TENNIS Wimbledon. Photo credit should read: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only. No commercial use. No video emulation. No use with any unofficial third party logos.
Fans show their support for Australia's Lleyton Hewitt during day Three of the Wimbledon Championships at The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, Wimbledon. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday June 26, 2013. See PA story TENNIS Wimbledon. Photo credit should read: John Walton/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only. No commercial use. No video emulation. No use with any unofficial third party logos.
Great Britain's Laura Robson meets fans following a practice session during day Three of the Wimbledon Championships at The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, Wimbledon. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday June 26, 2013. See PA story TENNIS Wimbledon. Photo credit should read: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only. No commercial use. No video emulation. No use with any unofficial third party logos.
Belarus' Olga Govortsova (right) in action with Poland's Alicja Rosolska during day Three of the Wimbledon Championships at The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, Wimbledon. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday June 26, 2013. See PA story TENNIS Wimbledon. Photo credit should read: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only. No commercial use. No video emulation. No use with any unofficial third party logos.
Tennis fans (left to right) Sharney Randhawa, Karen Randhawa, Manveer Kaur and Jen Emms wait in the queue during day Three of the Wimbledon Championships at The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, Wimbledon. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday June 26, 2013. See PA story TENNIS Wimbledon. Photo credit should read: John Walton/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only. No commercial use. No video emulation. No use with any unofficial third party logos.
Tennis fan Jonathan Golding from London waits in the queue during day Three of the Wimbledon Championships at The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, Wimbledon. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday June 26, 2013. See PA story TENNIS Wimbledon. Photo credit should read: John Walton/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only. No commercial use. No video emulation. No use with any unofficial third party logos.
The Royal Box on Centre court is cleaned before the start of play on Day 3 of the Wimbledon Championships at The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, Wimbledon. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday June 26, 2013. See PA story TENNIS Wimbledon. Photo credit should read: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only. No commercial use. No video emulation. No use with any unofficial third party logos.
Germany's Sabine Lisicki celebrates in her match against Italy's Francesca Schiavone during day Two of the Wimbledon Championships at The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, Wimbledon. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday June 25, 2013. See PA story TENNIS Wimbledon. Photo credit should read: John Walton/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only. No commercial use. No video emulation. No use with any unofficial third party logos.
Spain's David Ferrer slips during his match against Argentina's Martin Alund during day Two of the Wimbledon Championships at The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, Wimbledon. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday June 25, 2013. See PA story TENNIS Wimbledon. Photo credit should read: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only. No commercial use. No video emulation. No use with any unofficial third party logos.
Russia's Maria Sharapova plays football during a practice session during day Two of the Wimbledon Championships at The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, Wimbledon. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday June 25, 2013. See PA story TENNIS Wimbledon. Photo credit should read: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only. No commercial use. No video emulation. No use with any unofficial third party logos.
Argentina's Juan Martin Del Potro in his match against Spain's Albert Ramos during day Two of the Wimbledon Championships at The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, Wimbledon. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday June 25, 2013. See PA story TENNIS Wimbledon. Photo credit should read: John Walton/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only. No commercial use. No video emulation. No use with any unofficial third party logos.
Argentina's Guido Pella is stretchered off in his match against Canada's Jesse Levine during day Two of the Wimbledon Championships at The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, Wimbledon. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday June 25, 2013. See PA story TENNIS Wimbledon. Photo credit should read: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only. No commercial use. No video emulation. No use with any unofficial third party logos.
Great Britain's Heather Watson during her match against USA's Madison Keys during day Two of the Wimbledon Championships at The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, Wimbledon. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday June 25, 2013. See PA story TENNIS Wimbledon. Photo credit should read: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only. No commercial use. No video emulation. No use with any unofficial third party logos.
Rory McIlroy watches the game between Denmark's Caroline Wozniacki and Spain's Estrella Cabeza Candela during day one of the Wimbledon Championships at The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, Wimbledon. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Monday June 24, 2013. See PA story TENNIS Wimbledon. Photo credit should read: John Walton/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only. No commercial use. No video emulation. No use with any unofficial third party logos.
Mirka Federer, arrives to watch her husband, Switzerland's Roger Federer play Romania's Victor Hanescu during day one of the Wimbledon Championships at The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, Wimbledon. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Monday June 24, 2013. See PA story TENNIS Wimbledon. Photo credit should read: Adam Davy/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only. No commercial use. No video emulation. No use with any unofficial third party logos.
LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 26: Spectators play cards as they line up to gain access on day three of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on June 26, 2013 in London, England. Crowds are flocking to the third day of the Championships as Andy Murray plays his second round match. (Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)
Great Britain's Laura Robson practices during day one of the Wimbledon Championships at The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, Wimbledon. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Monday June 24, 2013. See PA story TENNIS Wimbledon. Photo credit should read: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only. No commercial use. No video emulation. No use with any unofficial third party logos.
Rory McIlroy waits for his girlfriend, Caroline Wozniacki to practice during day one of the Wimbledon Championships at The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, Wimbledon. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Monday June 24, 2013. See PA story TENNIS Wimbledon. Photo credit should read: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only. No commercial use. No video emulation. No use with any unofficial third party logos.
LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 25: A spectator laughs with a strawberry painted on her face during day two of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on June 25, 2013 in London, England. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)
Serbia's Ana Ivanovic celebrates a point against France's Virginie Razzano during day one of the Wimbledon Championships at The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, Wimbledon. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Monday June 24, 2013. See PA story TENNIS Wimbledon. Photo credit should read: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only. No commercial use. No video emulation. No use with any unofficial third party logos.
Heidi Range attends the WTA Pre-Wimbledon Party at The Roof Gardens, Kensington High Street, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday June 20, 2013. Photo credit should read: Anthony Devlin/PA Wire
LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 25: Magdalena Rybarikova of Slovakia reacts during her Ladies' Singles first round match against Barbora Zahlavova Strycova of Czech Republic on day two of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on June 25, 2013 in London, England. (Photo by Dennis Grombkowski/Getty Images)
Holly Branson attends the WTA Pre-Wimbledon Party at The Roof Gardens, Kensington High Street, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday June 20, 2013. Photo credit should read: Anthony Devlin/PA Wire
Victoria Azarenka attends the WTA Pre-Wimbledon Party at The Roof Gardens, Kensington High Street, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday June 20, 2013. Photo credit should read: Anthony Devlin/PA Wire
LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 26: Mo Farah uses his mobile phone before the Ladies' Singles second round match between Eugenie Bouchard of Canada and Ana Ivanovic of Serbia on day three of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on June 26, 2013 in London, England. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 25: Shuai Peng of China reacts during her Ladies' Singles first round match against Anabel Medina Garrigues of Spain on day two of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on June 25, 2013 in London, England. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 26: Ana Ivanovic of Serbia plays a backhand during her Ladies' Singles second round match against Eugenie Bouchard of Canada on day three of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on June 26, 2013 in London, England. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 26: Spectators sit on the grass as they wait to gain access on day three of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on June 26, 2013 in London, England. Crowds are flocking to the third day of the Championships as Andy Murray plays his second round match. (Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 25: Jelena Ristic, the girlfriend of Novak Djokovic of Serbia watches his Gentlemen's Singles first round match against Florian Mayer of Germany on day two of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on June 25, 2013 in London, England. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 26: A man rests amongst other spectators as they wait to gain access on day three of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on June 26, 2013 in London, England. Crowds are flocking to the third day of the Championships as Andy Murray plays his second round match. (Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 26: Alize Cornet of France plays a backhand during her Ladies' Singles second round match against Su-Wei Hsieh of Taipei on day three of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on June 26, 2013 in London, England. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 26: Umpires and line judges wait to go on court on day three of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on June 26, 2013 in London, England. Crowds are flocking to the second day of the Championships as Andy Murray plays his second round match. (Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 25: J.K. Rowling watches the Ladies' Singles first round match between Serena Williams of the United States of America and Mandy Minella of Luxembourg on day two of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on June 25, 2013 in London, England. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 26: Su-Wei Hsieh of Taipei passes her towel to a ballgirl during her Ladies' Singles second round match against Alize Cornet of France on day three of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on June 26, 2013 in London, England. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 26: Anne Keothavong and Johanna Konta of Great Britain look on during a break in their Ladies' Doubles first round match against Sara Errani of Italy and Roberta Vinci of Italy on day three of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on June 26, 2013 in London, England. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 26: Anne Keothavong and Johanna Konta of Great Britain talk tactics during their Ladies' Doubles first round match against Sara Errani of Italy and Roberta Vinci of Italy on day three of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on June 26, 2013 in London, England. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 26: Dustin Brown of Germany dives to return a shot during his Gentlemen's Singles second round match against Lleyton Hewitt of Australia on day three of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on June 26, 2013 in London, England. (Photo by Dennis Grombkowski/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 26: Viktor Troicki of Serbia reacts during his Gentlemen's Singles second round match against Andrey Kuznetsov of Russia on day three of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on June 26, 2013 in London, England. (Photo by Dennis Grombkowski/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 25: Novak Djokovic of Serbia stretches to smash the ball during his Gentlemen's Singles first round match against Florian Mayer of Germany on day two of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on June 25, 2013 in London, England. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 25: Feliciano Lopez of Spain plays a forehand during his Gentlemen's Singles first round match against Gilles Simon of France on day two of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on June 25, 2013 in London, England. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 25: Sir Trevor McDonald watches on centre court during day two of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on June 25, 2013 in London, England. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 25: Magdalena Rybarikova of Slovakia tosses the ball as she serves during her Ladies' Singles first round match against Barbora Zahlavova Strycova of Czech Republic on day two of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on June 25, 2013 in London, England. (Photo by Dennis Grombkowski/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 25: Tennis champions Monica Seles (L) and Jim Courier at the kickoff event for "HSBC Serves Up the Perfect Day at Wimbledon" on June 25, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images for HSBC)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 25: Jimmy Wang of Taipei celebrates match point during his Gentlemen's Singles first round match against Wayne Odesnik of the United States of America on day two of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on June 25, 2013 in London, England. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 25: Sam Branson (L) and Jelena Ristic (bottom centre), the girlfriend of Novak Djokovic of Serbia watch his Gentlemen's Singles first round match against Florian Mayer of Germany on day two of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on June 25, 2013 in London, England. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 25: Laura Robson of Great Britain signs autographs for fans as she leaves the court following her victory in the Ladies' Singles first round match against Maria Kirilenko of Russia on day two of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on June 25, 2013 in London, England. (Photo by Dennis Grombkowski/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 25: Tennis fans put extra layers on as they relax outside their tents during day two of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on June 25, 2013 in London, England. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 25: Novak Djokovic of Serbia's physical trainer Gebhard Phil-Gritsch (L) and coach Marian Vajda watch his Gentlemen's Singles first round match against Florian Mayer of Germany on day two of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on June 25, 2013 in London, England. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 25: A lady drinks champagne on day two of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on June 25, 2013 in London, England. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 25: Serena Williams of the United States of America looks on during her Ladies' Singles first round match against Mandy Minella of Luxembourg on day two of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on June 25, 2013 in London, England. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 25: Madison Keys of United States of America prepares to receive a serve during her Ladies' Singles first round match against Heather Watson of Great Britain on day two of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on June 25, 2013 in London, England. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 25: Patrick Mouratoglou, coach of Serena Williams of the United States of America arrives to watch her Ladies' Singes first round match against Mandy Minella of Luxembourg on day two of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on June 25, 2013 in London, England. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 25: Carina Witthoeft of Germany plays a forehand during her Ladies' Singles first round match against Kimiko Date-Krumm of Japan on day two of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on June 25, 2013 in London, England. (Photo by Dennis Grombkowski/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 25: Lines are painted on the court on day two of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on June 25, 2013 in London, England. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 24: Princess Michael of Kent (L) is presented with a gift 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 Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 24: Roger Federer of Switzerland takes a break during his gentlemen's singles first round match against Victor Hanescu of Romania 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 Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 24: A spectator wearing Union Jack sunglasses looks on during 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 Julian Finney/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 24: James Ward of Great Britain reacts during a break in his Gentlemen's Singles first round match against Lu Yen-Hsun of Taipei 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 Julian Finney/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 24: James Middleton shakes hands with Condoleezza Rice next to Pippa Middleton during the Gentlemen's Singles first round match between Andy Murray of Great Britain and Benjamin Becker of Germany 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 Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 24: Kristina Mladenovic of France plays a forehand during her Ladies' Singles first round match against Maria Sharapova of Russia 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 Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 24: Eugenie Bouchard of Canada smiles during her Ladies' Singles first round match against Galina Voskoboeva of Kazakhstan 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 Julian Finney/Getty Images)

He may have exited on the opening day but Rafa Nadal still managed to light up SW19 with his class.

It is generally accepted that this is a golden age for men's tennis with Nadal, Federer, Dojokovic and Murray serving up classic encounters with incredible regularity.

But off the court, they usually match their superhuman exploits with a humility and respect rarely found in high level sport.

King of Clay Nadal triumphed at the French Open for a record eighth time just two weeks ago and was one of the favourites for glory at Wimbledon but, against the gutsy Belgian Steve Darcis, on Monday, his knees betrayed him.

On three occasions he was prodded by the gathered media to explain how his knees were the main reason for defeat but he flatly refused.

Instead, Nadal lauded the victor time and time again.

Contrast such an attitude with that of pampered footballers, who dive at the first opportunity and cry with the verve of a new-born baby – not to mention the myopic managers – when a match has not gone their way.

Nadal is not only arguably the finest player to have graced a tennis court but he also happens to be a perfect role model for any young kid seeking to make it to the summit of sport.

Indeed, his autobiography is a must-read as it reveals the standards of discipline, humility and work ethic that turned him into the ultimate sporting champion.

Local juniors – and their parents – could do worse than to go and buy a copy.

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