Rafael Nadal knocked out of Australian Open in shock result following injury-plagued match
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Rafael Nadal has shockingly been knocked out of the Australian Open in a second-round loss to Mackenzie McDonald.
The American looked in serious form against one of the greatest of all time throughout the first and second set.
However, the defending champion looked in serious discomfort after an injury to his hip during the second set saw him leave the court to receive medical attention.
Commentators and fans online speculated whether the Spaniard would return to finish off the matchup.
Top seed Rafael Nadal suddenly looks like he’s in real physical trouble, limping and not moving for a couple returns.— Ben Rothenberg (@BenRothenberg) January 18, 2023
Medical stoppage down 6-4, 5-3 to McDonald.
Nadal had looked OK until midway through that last game, from what I could tell.
Trainer working on his left hip.
Jim Courier said on Channel Nine: “This is terrible. Hopefully it's something that will release for him.
"It was just such a strange reaction. He genuinely looked like he was shocked. He stops and looks like he's in absolute disbelief at what's happened.
"I just hope it's not the same problem that took him out of Wimbledon last year when he'd won so many matches in a row. He's got problems and they're real."
However, perhaps stubbornly, the legendary athlete ensured he finished out the match in a true showcase of his determination.
The tennis star’s wife could be pictured wiping away tears in the crowd as Rafa kept shaking his head toward his box.
😢😭😢 Mrs. @RafaelNadal 🇪🇸— TRAVEL&Sports (@travel__Sports) January 18, 2023
🎾 #AusOpen 🔛 #AO2023 pic.twitter.com/QGJKKKOZBu
Nadal was clearly struggling to move as comfortably as he liked in the final set, however, managed to initially take the lead.
Nadal battled to win five games in the third set but ultimately fell short to the American, in straight sets.
It signals a mammoth win for Mackenzie who is currently ranked 48th in the world.
The Spaniard was the defending champion after taking out the 2022 Australian Open.
The 36-year-old also took home the 2022 French Open.
McDonald's BIG moment in Melbourne 🙌@mackiemacster • #AusOpen • #AO2023 pic.twitter.com/W05rZjmbZQ— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 18, 2023
A champion is not the one who always wins but the one who never gives up@RafaelNadal pic.twitter.com/Kgnz2zsnJI— Javier (@Javier_TB13) January 18, 2023
Defending champ and top seed Rafael Nadal out in the #AusOpen 2nd round against Mackenzie McDonald, 6-4, 6-4, 7-5.— José Morgado (@josemorgado) January 18, 2023
Didn't start well, got injured in the 2nd set (when already set and break down) and didn't want to retire. The 3rd set was insane... pic.twitter.com/Np3vyD84dQ
Featured Image Credit: Stan Sport.
Topics: Australia, Australian Open, Rafael Nadal, Tennis