At the Australian Open, Rafael Nadal was defeated by Mackenzie McDonald in the second round. In the second set, Rafa suffered a left hip injury and discovered a grade 2 Iliac Psoas, which will prevent him from playing tennis for six to eight weeks.
The Spaniard had planned to compete in Doha and Dubai in February, but he will now have to skip both competitions. After Wimbledon in the previous year, Nadal only participated in 13 matches, going 3-8 in those games. After knowing that he would probably not be able to defend the 2,000 Australian Open points in February, the Spaniard intended to increase his point total.
Because of his most recent injury, Nadal will be out at least until Indian Wells and is very likely to fall outside the top 10 for the first time since April 2005. Rafa arrived in Melbourne in an unprepared state after months of injury struggles and an incident against McDonald at Rod Laver Arena.
He was defeated by the American 6-4, 6-4, and 7-5, marking Nadal‘s lowest performance in a Major since 2016. Rafa defeated Jack Draper in the opening round, but even before the injury, he wasn’t at his best when facing McDonald. McDonald beat an injured opponent by playing well and maintaining his composure to move on to the third round.
The American advanced to the third round with ease after making five breaks out of eight opportunities while only dropping service twice. Playing tough tennis, Mackenzie kept the points on her racket and used faster rallies to extend her lead to four strokes.
In games one and five in the opening match, the lower-ranked player dominated the defending champion 4-1 in less than 20 minutes. Nadal made a break in the sixth game to reduce the lead, then McDonald saved a break point at 5-4 to win the set and gain momentum.
Rafa lost serve on a match point in the second set at 3-3, giving his opponent the advantage.
Once more injured is Rafa Nadal.
Toni Nadal, Rafael Nadal‘s uncle and former long-time coach, can only dream of witnessing his nephew stage yet another remarkable comeback.
In a blog for El Pais, Toni Nadal stated, “My hope is now concentrated on seeing him, once again, raising his head and battling to be at Roland Garros defending his options.” “Let’s hope that his body reacts, since I believe he has enough ability for suffering and devotion.
When Rafael said goodbye this Wednesday at the Rod Laver Arena, the Australian public gave him a standing ovation, which I continue to respect “the coach who is Spanish stated.