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Rafael Nadal knocked out of Australian Open

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Rafael Nadal Australian Open
Rafael Nadal Australian Open. REUTERS/Loren Elliott
  • Rafael Nadal is a dejected man
  • The 36-year-old lost to American Mackenzie McDonald
  • He blamed a hip injury for the loss

Rafael Nadal is a dejected man with an end to his championship defence at the Australian Open coming in the second round following a hip injury.

He now says that the loss left him mentally wrecked. The left hip issue that plagued the Spaniard earlier on contributed to his 6-4 6-3 7-5 loss against American Mackenzie McDonald.

The 36-year-old claimed that although the ailment existed before the game, the discomfort was nothing like Wednesday’s pain.

Nadal expressed his hope that he wouldn’t be out from tennis for an extended period of time. He said it’s not just about recovering; he has to put in the necessary effort to return to a respectable level.

Rafael Nadal

Rafael Nadal. Photo/ATP Tour

He says that he has gone through so much in his tennis career and knows well what to expect moving forward, although it’s not easy.

The 22-time Grand Slam winner claimed at his post-match press conference that he could not move following his first-round elimination at a Grand Slam since the 2016 Australian Open.

While it destroyed him mentally, he hopes the injury is nothing serious that will keep him out of the court for long. Nadal says his past weeks in practice were okay, and he never expected such an eventuality.

When he pulled up with the injury, Nadal was down by a set and a break. He had a medical break at the conclusion of the second set before resuming.

He claimed that despite frequently considering retiring, he “didn’t want to leave the court with a retirement.”

Nadal, won his 21st Grand Slam in Melbourne in 2022, and he believes in doing your best even when the odds seem to be against you.

“Just try your best until the end. It doesn’t matter the chances that you have. That’s the philosophy of the sport. That’s the essence of the sport by itself. I tried to follow that during all my tennis career, and I tried of course to not increase the damage, because I didn’t know what’s going on,” BBC reports.

Rafael Nadal BNP Paribas

Rafael Nadal opted out of Miami Open 2022. Photo/Sky Sports

This is the most recent in a string of health issues for Nadal. He acknowledged in 2022 that painkiller injections for the longstanding condition made him lose sensitivity in his left foot during his victory at the French Open.

With an abdominal ailment he sustained in the previous round, he withdrew from his Wimbledon semifinal in 2022. The same injury also hindered him at the US Open, when he lost to Frances Tiafoe in the fourth round and appeared to hurt a rib.

In spite of the setbacks from injuries, he claimed that his passion for the sport kept him going.

He insists that tennis is something he enjoys significantly, and while it is temporary, he enjoys the moment when he is competitive. The 22-time Grand Slam champion doesn’t see playing tennis as a sacrifice but rather as an activity he enjoys.

Nadal doesn’t mind taking time off and healing all the injuries that he picks from the game, although it is often difficult.

Teresa is a journalist with years of experience in creating web content. She is a wanderlust at heart, but an outgoing sports writer with focus on tennis, athletics, football, motorsports and NBA.

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