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Australian Open: Rafael Nadal injured in the second round against Mackenzie McDonald

With the score 4-6, 3-4, 15-15, Rafael Nadal was injured during a rally. The Spaniard fell to the ground in pain and was unable to play the following points properly.

Nadal said, “I didn’t want to give up as a defending champion. It’s the hip. I couldn’t hit backhands at all and I couldn’t run anymore. But I wanted to play the match to the end.”

It is not known if it was a muscle or joint injury. He hopes the injury will not be too serious and will require a longer rehabilitation process: “Today is a difficult moment, a difficult day.”

Australian Open

Nadal finds clear words after hip drama: ‘My mind is on the floor’

before one hour

During the subsequent change of sides, the 22-time Grand Slam winner had a medical break and was treated first on court and then in the dressing room on the injured body part. Nadal’s wife, Cesca Perelo, was seen in the stands with tears in her eyes.

Tennis

Rafael Nadal – Mackenzie McDonald

03:13:50

McDonald plays confidently until the end

After several minutes of hiatus, Nadal returned to the court with a serious expression and continued the match. However, the Spaniard’s movements no longer looked really round. Again and again his gaze went to the chest.

“I thought about quitting all the time, but the bottom line is that I have to listen to myself. I tried to play in a way that wouldn’t make the injury worse,” Nadal said.

Match ball: Injured Nadal is tormented – but he has no chance

“You can almost see his thoughts: Man, I don’t want to give up here, I want to defend my title,” he said Eurosport– Expert Barbara Rittner: “But he couldn’t move and someone was just hoping he wouldn’t cut himself any more.”

Rafael Nadal at the 2023 Australian Open

Image source: Getty Images

McDonald, who played great until Nadal was injured, just had to finish the match with focus after that. After 2:32 hours, the world number 63 changed his first match point, thus advancing to the third round in Melbourne for the second time after 2021.

Nadal hopes for a speedy recovery

“I really hope the injury doesn’t keep me off the benches for too long, because it’s hard to go through the whole recovery process again,” Nadal said later at the press conference.

A player with injuries isn’t just about recovery: “It’s about all the work you have to do to get back to a decent level.”

In 2022, Nadal had to cancel his Wimbledon semi-final against Nick Kyrgios without a fight due to an abdominal muscle injury. The Mallorcan has previously won the Australian Open and the French Open.

Nadal is frequently injured in 2022

After a knockout round at the US Open against Frances Tiafoe in early September 2022, Nadal played only four official ATP tour matches until the Australian Open – he lost three of them. In total, he only competed in twelve tournaments in 2022 due to injury – in addition to the Finals and four Grand Slams, he also played in five Masters 1000s.

Nadal has recently been plagued by abdominal muscle problems and foot injuries. The Spaniard suffers from the rare Müller-Weiss syndrome, in which the scaphoid bone tissue of the foot skeleton dies. This has led to multiple surgeries.

In the first round of the Australian Open, Nadal defeated Briton Jack Draper (7: 5, 2: 6, 6: 4, 6: 1) – but in the second match the bitter finish overtook him. The Spaniard triumphed in 2009 and 2022.

You may also be interested in: Thigh problems: Djokovic gives update after opening win

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