Rafael Nadal hit the exit door at the Australian Open after injuring his left hip against Mackenzie McDonald in the second round. Rafa underwent medical tests on Thursday and will miss six to eight weeks. Thus, the Spaniard will miss the upcoming events in Doha and Dubai, with Indian Wells being in doubt as well.
Nadal’s doctor Angel Ruiz Cotorro was with him during the examination, and they revealed Grade 2 iliopsoas in his left leg. Rafa will likely drop out from the top-10 following the most recent setback, never leaving the exclusive group after entering in April 2005!
Nadal came to the Australian Open as the defending champion and lost 2000 ATP points following a 6-4, 6-4, 7-5 second-round loss to Mackenzie McDonald. Rafa struggled at Rod Laver Arena, never finding his rhythm and experiencing a left hip injury in the closing stages of the second set.
McDonald played at a high level and stayed focused against an injured rival to advance into the third round. The American produced five breaks from eight opportunities and lost serve only twice to move over the top in style.
Mackenzie played brave tennis and built the lead in the quickest rallies up to four strokes, leaving the rival without any rhythm. The lower-ranked player made a flying start and broke Rafa in the opener’s games one and five for 4-1 in under 20 minutes.
Nadal reduced the deficit with a break in game six, and McDonald fended off a break point at 5-4 to bring the set home. The second set saw back-to-back breaks in the early stage, and Rafa squandered a game point at 3-3 to get broken and push the rival in front.
Rafael Nadal injured his hip against Mackenzie McDonald in Melbourne.
The American landed an ace in the eighth game to confirm the advantage, and the Spaniard asked for a medical timeout on his left hip. Rafa left the court to receive the treatment and held in game nine to prolong the set and his chances.
McDonald brought the set home after Nadal’s tired forehand at 5-4 to drive closer to the finish line. Rafa continued and gave his best in the third set, fighting like a true champion despite struggling to move or hit a backhand.
He fired an ace on a break point at 4-4 and held to stay in contention. Mackenzie leveled the score at 5-5 and placed a backhand down the line winner in the next one to grab a decisive break. The American landed a service winner while serving for the victory in game 12 to seal the deal and dethrone a 22-time Major winner.
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