I didn't see the match. I was at work at the start of the match and at the dentist at the finish of it so I can only go on what others have said about it.
I must say that I didn't see it coming. I know that Darcis is a good player (but lacking in consistency) but I didn't see him win this match.
There were rumours that he was limping a bit in Roland Garros now and then as well, but that didn't seem to be too much of a problem.
However, clay is a different animal for Nadal than grass.
On clay, he's more confident, his movement on that surface comes natural to him. For grass, he needs to adapt, it takes more time and he hasn't played a good, competitive match on grass in a long time.
The first week in Wimbledon is usually more tricky for Nadal than the second week, when talking about the surface: the grass gets trampled, brown and it's less slippery. He usually is more confident in his movement by week 2.
Having said that, if he can win Roland Garros with his knee that's not 100%, it's not really all that much of an excuse here.
Darcis did what he had to do. Steve loves playing on grass (as do most Belgian players) and he did indicate that the fact that Nadal didn't play a tournament before Wimbledon would give him a window of opportunity.
In short, I don't think that his physical shape was that different from Roland Garros, but he doesn't have confidence issues on clay and he has them on grass.
I'm guessing that Vika having a bad fall on the same court, just before his match, didn't help his confidence either.
So, I don't really think that the "knee" is that much of an issue but it's more a confidence issue and not enough time to prepare for first week Wimbledon grass (slippery, balls flying low so requiring more bending of the knee,...).
I agree with most. Although I saw the match and Nadal was atrocious. Also he did not fight with the normal fire.
When I watched Nadal play at RG I already felt like something was not quite right. He moved very well but seemed quite unhappy to me. Kinda odd.
I don't really understand him. I suspect he has a somewhat dysfunctional relationship with his body. In the way that he plays thru serious pain to win no matter what. On the other hand, I never see him limp out there not matter what the movement. So maybe you are right and it it is mainly a confidence issue.
After all, it was pretty normal a couple years back when favorites lost in early round because on a bad day upsets can happen easily when the confidence is not there. So and don't think there is a real tragedy here. I'm pretty sure Fed will soon suffer a similar shock lose at a Slam. he has been quite lucky a couple of times.