Rafael Nadal Australian Open Championship His title defense ended prematurely on Wednesday as he lost 4-6 4-6 5-7 to American Mackenzie McDonald in the second round.
36 years old Nadal He suffered a left thigh injury throughout the match and needed treatment during the second set at Rod Laver Arena.
He managed to finish, eventually coming down to McDonald in 2 hours 32 minutes for an early exit from a Grand Slam since the 2016 Australian Open.
“I didn’t want to retire [as] The defending hero is here. “I didn’t want to leave the court in retirement,” Nadal told reporters.
“It’s better like this in the end. Lost, nothing to say, congratulations [my] Discount. This is the sport at the same time – just do your best till the end.”
McDonald started the match quickly when he broke Nadal’s serve in the opening game.
Then he did the same in the second set, dominating the competition with consistent slam dunks from the baseline.
Nadal, who was looking to extend his men’s record 22 Grand Slam titles at the Australian Open, left the court for a medical timeout at 5-3 in the second set.
The Spaniard was clearly struggling with his movement in the third set but nonetheless held serve until 5-5.
But then McDonald gained the upper hand, securing the decisive break with a backhand shot as both players reached the net.
He finished it off in the next game when Nadal dropped a backhand into the net to mark the biggest victory of the 27-year-old’s career.
McDonald, not seeded in the tournament, now has a chance to match his all-time best in a major if he can beat Dalibor Severcina or Yoshihito Nishioka in the third round.
“he [Nadal] McDonald said in his court interview. “He would never give up, no matter the situation, so even closing the matter with a big man like that is always difficult.
“I was trying to stay very focused on what I was doing. It kind of got me out of rhythm with that but I’m glad I stayed focused on myself at the end and got through it.”
After the match, Nadal said he would receive treatment to ascertain the nature and extent of the injury.
“It’s hard to make a decision if it’s a muscle, a joint or cartilage… Let’s see what the injury is like, and then let’s see how I can go about straightening,” he told reporters.
“Typical food guru. Problem solver. Devoted beer practitioner. Professional reader. Baconaholic.”