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I’m tired, sad: Rafael Nadal

Updated on: 19 January,2023 10:43 AM IST  |  Melbourne

Injured Rafa Nadal inconsolable after shock defeat to American Mackenzie McDonald at Australian Open; Coco Gauff sees off Emma Raducanu

I’m tired, sad: Rafael Nadal

Spain’s Rafael Nadal during his second round match against Mackenzie McDonald of America in Melbourne yesterday. Pics/AFP, Getty Images

Defending champion Rafael Nadal hobbled out of the second round in a huge upset at the Australian Open on Wednesday, as Coco Gauff beat Emma Raducanu 6-3, 7-6 (7/4) in a battle of the rising stars. Nadal’s wife Mery was in tears as the injury-hampered Spanish great lost to 65th-ranked Mackenzie McDonald at Rod Laver Arena, where the roof was closed because of more rain in Melbourne. 

Mackenzie McDonaldMackenzie McDonald

The 36-year-old Nadal was clearly hindered by a hip issue that required a medical timeout, as he surrendered 4-6, 4-6, 5-7 to the American. It was the reigning champion’s earliest exit from a major in seven years and will lead to more questions about whether injury and age are catching up with the record 22-time major champion. 

Coco GauffCoco Gauff

The men’s title now looks Novak Djokovic’s to lose. Nadal said defeat “hurt” and acknowledged that injuries were taking a toll. “I’ve never been in a position to complain, life has given me so many positive things that I have no right to complain,” he said. “[But] I am tired, I am sad, I am disappointed, all this is a reality. From here on...what I want is to continue playing tennis. Don’t think I’m saying all this because I want to take a step back. It is not the case, but my current feelings are bad.”

Also read: Australia Open: Novak Djokovic storms into second round

In contrast to Nadal’s disappointment and pain, 27-year-old McDonald is into the third round and a match against Yoshihito Nishioka of Japan. “He’s an incredible champion, he’s never going to give up regardless of the situation,” said McDonald of his beaten opponent. 

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