How do you beat Rafael Nadal in a Grand Slam? It seems like a question that does not have a fixed answer, but that more than one has tried without success. The last of them was the American Mackenzie McDonald, who learned from his past mistakes to finally defeat the top winner of this type of tournament.
Just a couple of years ago, in 2020, they met on the clay of Roland Garros. Nor is it the best scenario to have chances against the Spaniard. On that occasion, Nadal prevailed with authority in straight sets by 6-1, 6-0 and 6-3.
Now the American returned the courtesy. But how did he do it? “I thought he had options. I thought about when Taylor (Fritz) beat him and about (Frances) Tiafoe. I spoke to Tommy (Paul) about it last night and that gave me confidence.
Even seeing him at the United Cup with (Alex) De Minaur and (Cameron) Norrie helped me a bit. Today I had that belief and I checked it. I have not been as afraid of him as in the past Roland Garros, when I did not think I was prepared to do anything against him,» McDonald acknowledged in words taken up by ‘Break Point’
And he saw himself on the track. He attacked him over and over again, even when Rafa was physically fine. Already injured, it was a bit easier with him in what was arguably the biggest win of the American’s career. Before the match, did you see any chance of Mackenzie McDonald eliminating the defending champion from the Australian Open?
Uncle Toni comments on Nadal
Rafael Nadal’s uncle and former long-term coach Toni Nadal can only hope to see his nephew make another famous comeback.
«My illusion now is focused on seeing him, once again, raising his head and fighting to be at Roland Garros defending his options,» Toni Nadal wrote in a column for El País. “Let’s hope that his body responds because the commitment and the capacity for suffering, I think he will not lack.
I remain prudent and, of course, pleased to witness the great ovation that the Australian public gave Rafael when he said goodbye this Wednesday at the Rod Laver Arena”, said the Spanish coach. Once the severity of Rafael Nadal’s injury has been confirmed, the next question is where will he reappear on the ATP circuit? The 36-year-old Spanish tennis player suffered a grade 2 injury to the Psoas Iliaco in his left leg.
In his brief statement, the top Grand Slam winner said that “now he does sports, rests and anti-inflammatory physiotherapy. Normal recovery time of 6 to 8 weeks. In this way, he will end up absent from the following stops that he had contemplated on his calendar, such as the tournaments in Dubai and Doha.