Defending Australian Open Champion Rafael Nadal has been ruled out by world number 63 Mackenzie Mcdonald. The 27-year-old American defeated Nadal in three straight sets 6-4, 6-4, 7-5 in two hours and 32 minutes early Wednesday morning.

Nadal was ranked No. 1 in Melbourne, committing 31 unforced errors heading into the second round. Mcdonald’s best performances at the Grand Slams came at the Australian Open and Wimbledon, where he reached the fourth round in 2021. He had his longest run at the Australian Open in 2021 and 2018, respectively.

nadal He was clearly injured in the second set but decided to finish the match rather than retire. In the post-match press conference, Nadal revealed the hip injury that restricted his movement on court.

“I tried to continue playing without increasing the damage. But I just wanted to finish the match,” Nadal mused, and a sympathetic crowd cheered him off the court.

“I didn’t want to retire, to be the defending champion here. Better this way in the end. I missed. Congratulate the opponent.” After the injury, Nadal was deprived of his powerful backhand, which became impossible.

Nadal continued: “Just do your best until the end. It doesn’t matter what chances you have. That is the philosophy of sport. That is the essence of the sport itself. I tried to follow that throughout my tennis career.

“I just can’t say that I’m not mentally destroyed right now, because I’d be lying. It’s difficult to me. But let’s see, let’s hope it’s nothing bad. In the end, it has been a positive three weeks in terms of practice.

“So I really hope that doesn’t take me off the court for too long, because then it’s hard to pick yourself up again, all the amount of work you need to do to get back to a decent level. .

ALSO READ: Australian Open: Nadal ruled out

“I’ve been through this process too many times in my career and I’m ready to keep doing it, but that’s not easy, for sure,” added the 22-time Grand Slam winner.

Novak Djokovic won his second round match and is now the firm favorite to win his 10th Australian Open and 22nd Grand Slam title.

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