The most important news of the third day of the 2023 Australian Open is undoubtedly the elimination of Rafael Nadal. The defending champion was defeated in three sets by the American Mackenzie McDonald at Rod Laver Arena, also thanks to a hip injury that affected him in the second part of the match.
The last few months have been a nightmare for the Spaniard, far from the best conditions and without being able to play as much as he would have liked. The former world number 1 no longer expressed himself 100% after the 2022 Wimbledon quarterfinal against Taylor Fritz, when he pulled his abs.
While waiting to understand the extent of the hip injury, Rafa will leave the Top 5 at the end of the Australian Open (he is practically in sixth position). Many believe that this was the Mallorcan’s last appearance in Melbourne, given his age and the physical problems that never stop tormenting him.
«I would be lying if I denied that I am mentally destroyed, but tomorrow will be another day» – Rafa declared at the press conference. We’ll see if he can get back up.
Rafael Nadal lost to McDonald
An attentive spectator of Rafael Nadal’s defeat against Mackenzie McDonald, this Wednesday in the second round of the Australian Open, Mats Wilander, Eurosport’s star consultant, returned to this match marked by the hip injury of the Asturian who still wanted to finish the match .
“Rafa was put too much pressure on his right due to McDonald’s tactics. Rafa had to run to defend and ended up injured, so in my opinion it’s a TKO, probably because this is a 36-year-old player who hasn’t played enough games, but that’s due to a lot of bad luck of course. .
In the ’80s, nobody hurt their hips because the game wasn’t fast enough. There were times when you were running 100% for something, but the steps between punches were never explosive enough to hurt you. Today’s game is very different and it can happen at any time.
It’s much faster and you have to push right away, and there’s a lot of luck.» Rafael Nadal’s career in the 2023 Australian Open campaign came to a heartbreaking end. «It’s a very simple thing: I like what I do,» the Spaniard saying.
«I like playing tennis. I know it’s not forever. I like to feel competitive. I like to fight for the things I’ve been fighting for almost half my life or even longer.»