Rafael Nadal Loses In 2nd Round Of Australian Open
Defending champion Rafael Nadal crashed out of the Australian Open as he lost to Mackenzie McDonald in the second-round match on Wednesday.
Nadal, who was aiming to clinch his 23rd Grand Slam singles title, lost the match with 4-6, 4-6, 5-7 scoreline at the Rod Laver Arena.
With this, McDonald advanced to the third round.
While it was not clear what was bothering the 35-year-old Spaniard, however, he pulled up with an injury close to the second set and took a medical timeout.
This is Nadal’s earliest exit at any Grand Slam tournament since bowing out in the first round in Melbourne in 2016 against No. 45 Fernando Verdasco. That also made Verdasco the lowest-ranked player to defeat Nadal in Australia — until, of course, McDonald on Wednesday.
A year ago, Nadal won the Australian Open for the second time to earn his 21st major championship, then raised his total to 22 — the most for a man — at Roland Garros.
He is currently ranked No. 2 but was the top seed at Melbourne Park because No. 1 Carlos Alcaraz is sitting out the Australian Open with a bad leg.
McDonald has never been past the fourth round at a major tournament. In his lone previous matchup against Nadal, at the 2020 French Open, McDonald won a total of just four games in a lopsided loss.
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