Nadal had a bye to the Australian Open in the second round

Melbourne: Spaniard Rafael Nadal, champion in charge, was eliminated today, Wednesday, in the second round of the Australian Open tennis championship after picking up an injury in a 6-4, 6-4, 7-5 loss to American Mackenzie McDonald. Nadal’s omission has shaken up the men’s competition and will turn the race to win the most of the four Grand Slam titles as Serbia’s nine-time Australian Open champion Novak Djokovic can match the record of 22 major titles if Nadal crowns his tenth title at Melbourne Park. It seems that Nadal had a problem with his left thigh during the second set at Rod Laver Arena, to be treated off the field while it was in trailing 6-4, 5-3. He sadly returned to finish the match but his movements were clearly affected, paving the way for McDonald to end the Spaniard’s run for a third title at Melbourne Park. Prior to his injury, McDonald had played brilliantly to win the first set after racing shoulder to shoulder with the 36 year old Spaniard and excelling in fierce trading from the baseline. “He IS a superhero,” McDonald said. He never gives up, no matter the circumstances. Beating an opponent of this stature is always difficult. I tried to stay focused as much as possible after that in some situations he took my concentration off because of his amazing playing.” McDonald, who won just four matches against Nadal in the second round of the 2020 French Open, added: “The last time I faced him “Philippe Chatrier was on the court and he inflicted a crushing defeat on me. It’s very difficult to beat him on clay, but I kept my chances on hard courts. I’m not happy with this victory.”

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