The most important news of the third day of the 2023 Australian Open is undoubtedly the elimination of Rafael Nadal. The defending champion was beaten in three sets by the American Mackenzie McDonald on the 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 condition and unable to play as much as he would have liked. The former world number 1 no longer expressed himself 100% after the quarterfinals of Wimbledon 2022 against Taylor Fritz, when he pulled his abs.
Waiting to understand the extent of the hip injury, Rafa will drop out of the Top 5 at the end of the Australian Open (he is virtually 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’d be lying if I denied that I’m mentally destroyed, but tomorrow is another day” – declared Rafa at the press conference. We’ll see if he can rise again.
Rafael Nadal lost to McDonald
Attentive spectator of Rafael Nadal’s defeat against Mackenzie McDonald, this Wednesday in the second round of the Australian Open, Mats Wilander, star consultant of Eurosport, returned to this match marked by the hip injury of the Spaniard who still wanted to finish the meeting.
“Rafa was pushed a little too much on his forehand side because of McDonald’s tactics. Rafa had to run to defend and he ended up getting injured so in my eyes it’s a technical knockout probably because we’re looking at a 36 year old 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 100% running for something, but the footsteps between hits were never explosive enough to hurt you. The game today is so different and it can happen at any time.
It’s so much faster and you have to push immediately, and there’s a lot of luck.” Rafael Nadal’s run at the 2023 Australian Open campaign came to a heartbreaking end. “It’s a very simple thing: I like what I do,” the Spaniard said.
“I like playing tennis. I know it’s not forever. I like to feel myself competitive. I like to fight for the things that I have been fighting for almost half of my life or even more.”
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