'Rafael Nadal Kicked My Butt At Roland Garros,' Says Mackenzie Mcdonald

‘Rafael Nadal kicked my butt at Roland Garros,’ says Mackenzie McDonald

Rafael Nadal and Mackenzie McDonald have met on the notable scene twice. Their first clash came at Roland Garros 2020, with Nadal beating McDonald 6-1, 6-0, 6-3 in one hour and 40 minutes in the second round.. The American avenged that loss at the Australian Open last week, dethroning the 21-time Major winner 6-4, 6-4, 7-5 in two hours and 32 minutes.

Nadal injured his left hip in the second set, refusing to give up and fighting until the end. McDonald recalled their Roland Garros clash and said Nadal kicked his butt. Rafa shot 31 winners and 15 unforced errors, never faced a break point on Court Philippe-Chatrier and stole opponents’ serves seven times in eight opportunities.

Nadal earned his first break in the fourth game of the match thanks to a backhand winner down the line. The Spaniard broke again in the sixth game and held at 30 in the next to make it 6-1 on the half hour. Mackenzie was powerless on serve and return in set number two, disappearing from the court and allowing Nadal to deliver a bagel and rattle off 11 straight games!

Nadal broke at 15 in the first game when Mackenzie hit a backhand and grabbed his fourth straight return game at 2-0 to widen the gap. The king of clay fired a backhand down the line winner for another break in game five and hit a service winner in the next for 6-1, 6-0 in 64 minutes!

Mackenzie McDonald spoke about her first duel against Rafael Nadal.

Mackenzie ended her drought after losing 11 straight games and held on with a backhand winner in the first game of the third set. Rafa grabbed a break in the third game following a backhand error from the American, moving 2-1 in front and closer to the finish line.

Nadal closed out the fourth game with a volley winner, and Mackenzie produced a good hold after a forehand winner a few minutes later to stay within a break deficit. Finding the rhythm on serve in those moments, McDonald hit a winner for the third comfortable hold, cutting the deficit to 3-4.

Not setting a false foot in his games, Rafa closed out the eighth game with a service winner, forcing the opponent to serve to stay in the match. Nadal hit a backhand crossover winner to secure another break and move on to the next round.

“It was very difficult to stay mentally engaged. I found a way to pull it off and I’m excited. Rafa is a great champion who never gives up, regardless of the situation. Closing the game against opponents from above is always challenging, and I did it well.

The last time I played against Rafa was on court Philippe-Chatrier at Roland Garros and he kicked my ass. It’s hard to beat him on clay, but I liked my chances on the hard court here in Melbourne. I had the opportunity and I made the most of it,» said Mackenzie McDonald.

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