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‘Nightmare’ as Rafael Nadal loses to Mackenzie McDonald

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By Nelson Adebola

Spain’s Rafael Nadal looks dejected after losing his second round match against Mackenzie Mcdonald of the U.S – Rafael Nadal crashes out of Australian Open in straight sets.

Rafael Nadal, the defending champion and top seed at the Australian Open, is out of the tournament after seeming to pop a muscle in his hip area during his second-round meeting with Mackenzie McDonald.


Nadal battled on until the end of the match, despite being short of his usual physicality. But he looked to be playing out of respect for the game and his opponent rather than any belief that he could win.


Nadal was already finding the going tough when he pulled up awkwardly after striking a crosscourt backhand winner.


He was trailing by a set and a break at the time against world No 65, a neat stylist from the USA who was making the ball sing with his flat, elegant groundstrokes.


On the next point after the initial injury, Nadal dashed to his left to retrieve one of McDonald’s laser-like strikes, but then had to abort his pursuit of the ball abruptly because of the pain.


He crouched down for a moment at the side of the court, clearly in agony, and after a couple more points called a medical time-out. As he sat in his chair with his head bowed, waiting for the trainer to arrive, one could only think back to the many injuries that have bedevilled him over the last year, including the so-called “zombie foot” which required a nerve to be desensitised, and two separate instances of torn abdominal muscles.


“I have history in the hip that I had issues,” Nadal explained afterwards. “I had to do treatments in the past, address a little. Was not this amount of problem. Now I feel I cannot move.


“But I don’t know till I do the test and all this stuff. Is difficult to make resolution if it’s a muscle, if it’s the joint, if it’s the cartilage.”

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