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Top-ranked Rafael Nadal knocked out of Australian Open 2023

Top-ranked Rafael Nadal knocked out of Australian Open 2023

Rafael Nadal’s Australian Open title defense came to a disappointing end on Wednesday. He defeated world No. 65 Mackenzie McDonald 4-6, 4-6, 5-7 in the second round would. It marked the end of Nadal’s hopes of defending his title and securing his 21st Grand Slam victory. The Spaniard’s level was misplaced in the first set as he only managed 65% of his hitting on the first few serves and struggled to create both depth and power on his groundstrokes. In the middle of the second set, when Nadal fell behind McDonald with a break, he suddenly stopped at the baseline. That was after a rally and he clung to his body with a pained expression on his face.

Down 4-6, 3-5, Nadal took some time off to get treatment for what appeared to be

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a hip injury. After the long delay, he never seemed to return to the same level of competition. His body language was dejected and the camera caught his team looking worried throughout the third set. Even Nadal’s wife, María Francisca Perelló, burst into tears upon seeing her husband fight in the medium.

“He absolutely can’t believe what just happened.” Jim Courier said during a comment as Nadal took a medical time-out in the second set. Previously, Nadal was very worried as he struggled in the first round against Jack Draper in four sets for the win. Committing a series of unforced errors even as Draper began to cramp. Nadal expected to put on a better show in the second round but instead, he looked even more mediocre. McDonald secured a career-high win in an impressive performance, capitalizing on Nadal’s lackluster form. He will now face either Dalibor Svrcina or Yoshito Nishioka in the third round.

Also Read: Nick Kyrgios slams his critics after United Cup exit

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