Defending champion Rafael Nadal is out of the Australian Open 2023. He suffered a straight-sets defeat to Mackenzie McDonald of USA in the second round of the tournament at Rod Laver Arena on Wednesday.
Mackenzie defeated Nadal 6-4, 6-4, 7-5 to enter the third round to earn the biggest win of his career against top seed Nadal in the first Grand Slam of the year. The American made a bright start to the match and looked in good touch from the very first set. Although Nadal was also in good form in the beginning, but he got injured in the middle of the match and his rhythm deteriorated. Taking advantage of this, the American player pulled off the biggest upset of the Australian Open 2023.
However, this is Nadal's worst performance in any Grand Slam in the last seven years, winning the Australian Open in 2022. He currently has the most Grand Slams which is 22. After this, 21 Grand Slams are with Novak Djokovic. The 36-year-old Nadal was battling a back injury during the match. For this reason, he had to take a break as well. Nadal returned to the court after a short break, but he did not appear in the old rhythm and had to face defeat. Nadal was constantly struggling during this match and seeing him struggling on the court, his wife Maria Francisca also started crying.
Earlier, Nadal recorded a stunning four-set victory over Jack Draper in the first round. After this Nadal had expected a better performance in the second round but he looked even worse. In the second round, he was out of touch right from the start of the match. At the same time, Mackenzie started well and continued to play aggressively. For this reason, he managed to win the match in straight sets.
Nadal has suffered hip and leg injuries. Despite this, he played the entire match and bid farewell to the tournament. Moreover, he looked dejected after the match and left the court for medical treatment. It was believed that the 36-year-old would retire after this tournament. But, he has refused to retire just yet.