Rafael Nadal was “mentally shattered” after losing to American Mackenzie McDonald in the second round of the Australian Open and suffering an injury.
After chasing out wide for a forehand, the top seed sat down in obvious pain gripping his left hip and immediately went down a set and a break to the unseeded McDonald.
After Nadal limpingly finished the match, he summoned the trainer and left the court for treatment.
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While the Spaniard’s distraught wife Maria watched from the stands, he decided to keep playing despite obviously having difficulty moving across the court.
It was a matter of when, not if, McDonald would find a way through, and he capped off a 6-4, 6-4, 7-5 triumph. Nadal managed to maintain his service until the 11th game, screamed on by spectators still believing he might somehow turn things around.
Nadal said he had a hip problem going into the match, and it got much worse as the action progressed.
He declared, “There have been a few days like this, but nothing like today in that shift. The discussion has begun, but I’m not sure if the problem is muscular or arthritic in nature.
My hip is a time capsule. In the past, I’ve had to get treatment and make some progress, but the issue was never nearly as severe as it is now. In this moment, I feel paralyzed.
I persevered until it was too late. While I can’t say for certain that I’ll win the match under ideal conditions, my odds are definitely greater. And in the end, that’s all there is. It was an attempt on my part. It just couldn’t be done.
There is substantial uncertainty as to whether Nadal will ever play again at Melbourne Park after his devastating loss in the quarterfinals, which came a year after his near-miraculous journey to the triumph.
After recovering from an abdominal strain that forced him to withdraw from Wimbledon before the semi-finals, he went on to win his 22nd grand slam championship at the French Open.
This 36-year-old woman replied, “I don’t need to communicate and explain the feelings. A meeting of this nature is not appropriate at this time. Last but not least, keep moving forward. It can be annoying at times. This reality can be tough to accept at times. Tiredness can set in while thinking about all the injuries you’ve sustained.
“All things considered, I have no legitimate gripes about my life. That’s another one, just in terms of sports and injuries and difficult times. I really can’t state that my mental health is fine right now; it would be a lie.
I’m praying it’s nothing major. Overall, the past three weeks of training have been fruitful. If I had to stay off the court for an extended period of time, it will be incredibly difficult to regain all my previous success.
Tennis star Rafael Nadal went to Australia for medical care. It was reported by (Dita Alangkara/AP)
Although it is difficult, “I went through this procedure too many times in my career and I am ready to keep doing it, I suppose.”
Nadal lost six of his previous seven matches leading up to his first round encounter against British player Jack Draper, and while he did manage to pull out a victory in four sets, he was clearly not playing at his best.
In the beginning of his match with McDonald, a 27-year-old ranked No. 65 who was seeking his first victory against a top-five player at a grand slam, Federer faced a similar challenge.
The match took place on a rainy day at Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne, which suited McDonald’s flat hitting style.
When he broke Nadal twice to go up 4-1 in the first set, he caught the Spaniard off guard. However, the top seed recovered and made a game effort to win the set.
McDonald took the lead early in the second set, and although Nadal reeling off three straight games, the match was practically over after McDonald broke for a 4-3 advantage.
Nadal remarked, “I was not able to strike the backhand at all,” when asked why he didn’t retire. I could not make it to the ball in time. However, all I wanted to do was win the match.
I didn’t want to go away from this tournament as the defending champion and retire. I prefer it this way towards the end. I lost. Not much to add. Say “Congratulations to the Opponent!”