Azarenka, Nadal-conqueror Darcis limp out of Wimbledon
Azarenka and Darcis were just two of four injury-hit storylines on the third day of the championships.
America’s John Isner, famous for winning the longest match in history at Wimbledon in 2010, pulled out after just two games of his second round tie.
Czech veteran Radek Stepanek was also an on-court casualty, quitting his second round clash with a thigh injury.
World number two Azarenka was forced to withdraw just minutes before she was due on Centre Court to face Italian veteran Flavia Pennetta.
The Australian Open champion suffered a right knee injury in her first round win over Maria Joao Koehler of Portugal where she needed a 10-minute treatment period by the tournament doctor.
“Really sad 4 Vika that her knee is bad. seeing the injury when it happened, i was surprised she was able 2 finish her match. Hope she’ll be ok,” tweeted former Wimbledon champion Martina Navratilova.
Pennetta goes on to face France’s Alize Cornet for a place in the last 16.
Darcis, the world number 135 who stunned Nadal on Monday, pulled out with a right shoulder injury.
“I was playing maybe the best tennis in my life here,” said the 29-year-old Belgian.
“Not to go on the court today, it’s maybe the most disappointing thing I have had to do.”
Darcis, who hurt his shoulder in a fall during his win over Nadal, had been due to face Poland’s Lukasz Kubot in the second round.
“Sadly, this is sport. The greatest moment of his career is followed by the greatest disappointment,” said Darcis’s coach, Reginald Willems.
Darcis inflicted Nadal’s first ever opening round defeat at a Grand Slam with his stunning straight sets win.
Kubot will face either Benoit Paire or Stephane Robert for a place in the last 16.
Wimbledon marathon man Isner, was forced to quit his second round match after just two games.
The 28-year-old, 18th seeded American had to retire against France’s Adrian Mannarino with the score at 1-1 in the first set after he injured his knee while serving.
Isner famously defeated Nicolas Mahut at Wimbledon in 2010 in a tie that lasted 11 hours and 5 minutes over the course of three days.
The final set finished at 70-68 in his favour.
“I was just serving like I have 20-million times, nothing different, the knee just grabbed and I knew I was in serious trouble,” said Isner.
Mannarino goes on to face either former champion Lleyton Hewitt or Dustin Brown for a place in the last 16.
Stepanek was 6-2, 5-3 down to Poland’s Jerzy Jancowicz, the 24th seed, when he quit with a left thigh injury.
Jancowicz will face either Nicolas Almagro or Guillaume Rufin for a place in the last 16.