A depleted Nadal says goodbye to Australia

Nadal, worried during his match against McDonald / REUTERS

Second round

The Balearic tennis player, current champion, falls before a great Mackenzie McDonald in a match marked by a physical problem suffered by the Spaniard in the second set

There will be a new champion in Australia. Rafa Nadal, current champion of the first Grand Slam of the year, was defeated in the second round of the tournament by Mackenzie McDonald (6-4, 6-3 and 7-5), in a match marked by an injury to the tennis player from Manacor in the second manga, when he was already behind on the scoreboard against the North American player.

Nadal, who was not arriving in the best conditions at the first Grand Slam of the season, with only one victory in the course and against a player who was also diminished like Jack Draper, accused the lack of rhythm against a McDonald who was superior in all facets of the game. game before the physical mishap of the Spaniard.

The problems of the Spaniard appeared at the end of the second set, with 4-3 in favor of the North American. A deep right hand from McDonald that Nadal tries to reach, with the misfortune of noticing a strong pull on the back of his left leg. With doubtful glances at his bench, Nadal asked for a physio to ease the pain and continue playing, although greatly diminished.

Nadal, despite the pain and obvious discomfort, finished the match in a third set where he could hardly move, served almost without jumping and shot with quality and arm to win his points on serve. An example of honor.

We saw the emotional image at the end of the match when the entire audience at the Rod Laver Arena gave Nadal a standing ovation as he went to the locker room. The man from Manacor, far from leaving the track on the faster side, came out to the center of it to respond with applause. An emotional and disturbing gesture before who knows if that of the last Australian Open.

With this defeat, the reigning champion says goodbye to a tournament that, on paper, was difficult for him at the moment in which he was going through. Nadal is consolidated in the sixth position of the ATP ranking and only 1000 points away from leaving the ‘top 10’, something that has not happened since 2005. The extent of the injury remains to be known and if the Spaniard will be able to participate in the next matches of the circuit .

honors for mcdonald

The American tennis player has played the best match of his career. With a first serve percentage above 80% and few unforced errors, McDonald was being the best player on court even before Nadal’s injury.

In the first set, the American put Nadal in clear trouble with his serve, breaking up twice. Dizzying and offensive game to surprise a Nadal surpassed by the level of the American. In the second set, the Spaniard came back from 2-0 down, but his rival responded again with another ‘break’, just before the Spaniard’s physical mishap.

McDonald, 27 years old and number 65 in the ATP ranking, will face the winner of the match between Dalibor Svrcina and Yoshito Nishioka in the third round.


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