Mackenzie McDonald defeated defending champion Rafa Rafael Nadal 6-4, 6-4, 7-5 in the second round of the Australian Open on Wednesday. At Melbourne Park, the Spaniard played his most recent match in an injury-plagued career.
The men’s draw is thrown off as a result of Rafael Nadal defeat, and the race for the Grand Slam titles takes a new turn. Novak Djokovic will equal the Spaniard’s 22 major titles if he wins his tenth title in Australia.
Rafael Nadal injured his left hip while running for a backhand during the second set at Rod Laver Arena.
McDonald was able to put an end to the Spaniard’s bid to win the third Australian Open when he returned grim-faced to continue the match. However, his movement was clearly affected, particularly on his backhand, which allowed McDonald to win.
The hip had been bothering Nadal for a few days, he claimed, but not nearly as much as it had been during the match on Wednesday.
“I don’t know what’s going on, whether it’s muscle or (the) joint,” he told reporters.
I have experienced hip issues in the past. I’ve had to get treatment for it in the past. This was not the scale of the problem. I now feel as though I cannot move.
Rafael Nadal had to retire in the fifth set of his quarterfinal match against Marin Cilic at the 2018 Australian Open because of a hip injury.
Before Nadal collapsed on Wednesday, the hard-hitting McDonald had played brilliantly to win the first set. She went toe-to-toe with the 36-year-old Mallorcan and won most of the baseline exchanges.
McDonald put an end to any lingering memories of their previous encounter, which Nadal won in straight sets at the 2020 French Open, on the hard court at Rod Laver Arena.
“He’s an incredible champion, and he’s never going to give up regardless of the situation,” McDonald said of him. “Even closing it out against a top guy like that is always tough,” McDonald asserts.
“He kind of got me out of that I was trying to stay so focused on what I was doing with what he was doing.”
When Nadal returned to the court following his timeout, he received a standing ovation, and when he held serve, he received even more applause. The aggressive Spaniard’s return was inadequate.
However, his gloomy expression told the story, and he shook his head at his teammates when he refused to retrieve a drop shot during the subsequent game.
McDonald prevailed in the second set after Nadal hit a forehand into the net, and the Spaniard slammed his racket into his chair at the conclusion of the match.
Nadal used serve and touch a lot to drag the American into the third set, but McDonald ran forward to pass him a passing shot, bringing the score to 6-5.
The “Miracle of Melbourne,” in which Nadal defeated Daniil Medvedev after coming back from two sets down, was over after he rushed the net in a desperate last stand.
Despite the fact that Nadal’s performance in the 2022 championship match was one of his best, the left-hander has had more than his fair share of setbacks at the first Grand Slam of the year.
He was hindered during the 2014 final against Stan Wawrinka, which he lost in four sets to because of a back injury.
“All the time,” Nadal said, “I thought about retiring hurt from the match against McDonald,” but I wanted to stay champion.
The most recent injury was still devastating, despite the fact that he claimed to have little to be unhappy about in his life.
“Sometimes you feel extremely exhausted about all of this stuff in terms of injuries,” he stated.
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