Defending champion Rafael Nadal crash out of the Australian open
Defending champion Rafael Nadal crashed out of the Australian open at the second round today after aggravating a hip problem during his 6-4, 6-4, 7-5 defeat to the American Mackenzie Mcdonald the Spaniard’s latest entry in an injury-blighted history at Melbourne Park.
Nadal’s elimination shakes up the men’s draw and puts a twist in the grand slam titles race, with nine-times champion Novak Djokovic able to draw level with the Spaniard’s 22 major championships should he come out on top at the tournament for a 10th time.
Nadal appeared to suffer a strain in his left hip area while running for a backhand deep in the second set at Rod Laver Arena and after receiving attention from a trainer he took an off-court medical time-out when trailing 6-4, 5-3.
He returned grim faced to play out the match but his movement was clearly affected, particularly on his backhand side, paving the way for Mcdonald to end the Spaniard’s bid for a third title at Melbourne Park.
Meanwhile another American French open runner up Coco Gauff battled past British number one Emma Raducanu 6-3, 7-6 in the battle of the prodigies.