Sports

Aussie Open: Unseeded Mackenzie McDonald stuns Rafael Nadal

Rafael Nadal, the top seed, was eliminated from the Australian Open by No. 65 in the world, American Mackenzie McDonald, in straight sets (6-4, 6-4, 7-5).

Rafael Nadal, the top seed, was eliminated from the Australian Open by No. 65 in the world, American Mackenzie McDonald, in straight sets (6-4, 6-4, 7-5).

The top seed was already down a set and a break to the unseeded McDonald when he squatted down in obvious pain gripping his left hip after going for a forehand that went too wide.

After Nadal limped through the rest of the match, he summoned the trainer and left the court for treatment.

The last time a top seed (Nadal) was eliminated in the second round of the Australian Open was in 2001 when Gustavo Kuerten beat him.

Even though the Spaniard’s wife, Maria, was crying from the spectators, he kept playing despite his limp.

Nadal kept his serve intact until the 11th game, with the crowd still hoping for a comeback, but it was clear that McDonald would eventually break through, and he did it quickly, serving out the match.

Nadal disclosed he was already dealing with hip pain before the match and that it worsened throughout.

He declared, “It has been a couple of days like this, but nothing like today in that movement. We’ll start talking about that now, but I don’t know what’s happening if it’s muscle or joint.

“I have a history in the hip. I had to do treatments in the past, address it a little [but there] was not this amount of problem. Now I feel I cannot move.

“I tried until the end. I don’t know if in good conditions I will win the match, I will have better chances without a doubt. But at the end, that’s it. I just tried. It was not possible.”

Late in the second set against McDonald, who is ranked 65th, Nadal pulled up awkwardly after a point.

The 36-year-old continued, “In terms of sports and in terms of injuries and tough moments, that’s another one. I just can’t say that I am not destroyed mentally at this time, because I will be lying.”

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