Defending Champion Rafael Nadal Is Knocked Out of the Australian Open In The Second Round

Rafael Nadal waved a lingering farewell to the Rod Laver Arena after his latest Australian Open ended with an injury-induced straight sets defeat.

The defending champion’s watching wife, Xisca, was in tears after he appeared to jar himself around the left hip area late in the second set of his second round match against American Mackenzie McDonald.

He went off for the court for a treatment break but carried on, only to lose 6-4 6-4 7-5 to the former collegiate star from California.

Even before the incident he was struggling against the contrastingly mobile McDonald, but thereafter his movement was clearly restricted and it seemed only a collapse from his opponent would save him.

Having decided to carry on there were discussions between the player and his box, with anxious looks all round. He managed to stay competitive with limited mobility and carefree swipes at the ball, but McDonald broke him at 5-5 in the third and there was little resistance in the last game.